How to Get “Free Coins” From Bitcoin Forks – Everything the Average Cryptocurrency User Needs to Know About Bitcoin Forks and Cryptocurrency Forks te General
To get “free coins” from a Bitcoin fork, you need to have Bitcoin on a toneelpodium that supports the fork before the block height at which the fork occurs.
This is because the developers of the fresh chain will take a “snapshot” of the ledger at a specific block height thereby creating a duplicate copy of the chain (the result being that all holders of Bitcoin on one chain will hold an equal ratio of the fresh coin on the fresh chain). That duplicate will become the fresh chain after it goes live.
After the forked blockchain goes live down the road (which can take hours, days, weeks, or months), you can them optie your “forked coins.”
How to rechtsvordering coins can differ depending on which verhoging you have your Bitcoin on. If it is third party toneelpodium, they will credit your account if they support the fork at a date determined by the toneel. If you control your private keys (for example via a Bitcoin Core wallet), you’ll need to obtain and configure the wallet of the fresh coin yourself using your public wallet address and private keys from your Bitcoin wallet (thus you vereiste retain access to any wallets where you stored Bitcoin when the snapshot of a given fork occurred).
That is the gist of how to be ter Bitcoin for the fork and get “forked coins,” getting forked coins from other cryptocurrency forks generally works the same way.
Below wij explain the process of being ter for the fork and claimed forked coins te step-by-step detail and suggest some toegevoegd notes.
WARNING: If you are going to voorwaarde coins from a fork, budge your Bitcoin balance to another address very first (so be te for the snapshot, but then stir you balance before you keuze the forked coin). You should never attempt to rechtsvordering a forked coin with an address that has the non-forked coins ter it, spil this could result te you losing your original coins if something goes wrong.
Peak: This pagina uses Bitcoin spil an example, but most cryptocurrency forks work this way (see some exceptions below). Thus, this pagina covers how to get free coins from a fork and how to voorkeur forked coins ter general, but uses Bitcoin spil an example.
How do hard forks work (elementary)? When a coin forks (here implying a “hard fork”) a fresh copy of the existing blockchain is made. This creates two identical ledgers (thus anyone holding coins on one chain now holds equal parts of the coin on the fresh chain by default). The developers of the fresh coin can now tweak Bitcoin’s code to create a unique asset. When the fresh chain goes live, everyone who held Bitcoin will have access to the fresh forked coin (assuming they held their private keys or were on a podium that supports the fork). That is the gist, let’s not concentrate on the nuts and bolts of forks here. If you want to know more about software forks ter cryptocurrency, see our pagina on cryptocurrency forks.
STEP 1 – Being ter Bitcoin on an Podium that Supports the Fork Before the Snapshot is Taken
To get “free coins” / “forked coins” (AKA to qualify for the fork) you voorwaarde be ter Bitcoin on a verhoging that supports the fork before the “snapshot” occurs (that includes third party platforms or being ter onmiddellijk control of your private keys, spil discussed above, see more notes below for details).
The developers of a given fork will take a “snapshot” of the ledger/blockchain (a public record of all wallet balances) at a given block height. The developers of a given toneel will generally do the same (so for example Coinbase/GDAX will record balances te the wallets they host on their platform… for forks they support).
Anyone ter Bitcoin before that block height will end up possessing equal parts of the forked coin by default if they are ter control of the private keys. Meantime, if one has their Bitcoin on a verhoging that supports the fork, they should by all means be credited for that spil well (albeit its at the discretion of the toneelpodium).
- You vereiste have your balance recorded on the ledger before the block (the transaction voorwaarde be recorded to the blockchain before the snapshot block occurs).
- Then after the block has bot recorded, you can securely stir your Bitcoin (but you voorwaarde retain access to your wallet’s private keys and public address, spil you’ll need them to access the forked coins).
With all that said, being ter for the snapshot block is only step 1. You can’t voorkeur your coins right away, the fresh chain needs to go live very first (and this is at the discretion of the developers of the fork).
Peak: Spil noted above, but to be clear, once you are “in Bitcoin for the snapshot,” then from that point forward you can sell your Bitcoin. Bitcoin and the forked coin no longer have any relation after the snapshot block. After that block, the blockchain essentially bifurcates (forks) into two compeltely different chains (like if you do a “save as” of a document, switches to the old document don’t affect the fresh one).
EXAMPLE OF BEING Te BITCOIN FOR THE SNAPSHOT BLOCK: To get Bitcoin Gold you had to have had Bitcoin te a wallet or exchange that supported the Bitcoin Gold fork before block 491407. With forks the block height (AKA block number) matters, the date is just an approximation. It isn’t good enough to do a transaction right before the block, spil your transaction vereiste be recorded on the blockchain before the block!
WHICH PLATFORMS SUPPORT BITCOIN FORKS: Platforms that support Bitcoin forks include third party Bitcoin wallets (it differs by fork, Coinomi has bot good about supporting forks), exchanges like Binance or hitbtc with a good record of supporting forks (again, it can differ by fork), and wallets that gives you onmiddellijk control of your private keys (for example ter a wallet like Bitcoin Core)! Other entities like Coinbase, Bittrex, TREZOR, etc (that is third party wallets and exchanges) may or may not support a given fork. Annoyingly, many wallets/exchanges have a habit of not telling their users whether or not they will support a fork until after the fact.
NOTE ON GETTING BITCOIN FUTURES FROM THE FORK: Some exchanges suggest Bitcoin fork futures at the snapshot block. For example Binance and hitbtc have done this te the past. Futures can be fine, they permit you to trade a coin before it even goes live! If the fork doesn’t occur, then you indeed scored. However, if the fork occurs and is stable, you could end up trading away a coin with a hefty future price tag for pennies on the dollar by attempting to unload it right out of the gate. Thus, taking advantage of early access to a coin via this type of future product is a mixed bag. Once you trade away your futures, you no longer get the coin. Likewise, if you buy more futures, you’ll get more of the forked coin if it finishes up being legit (but will get only the futures if it doesn’t). Thesis futures aren’t the same sort of futures product spil the Bitcoin futures traded on the traditional stock markets.
STEP Two – Wait For the Chain to Go Live
Step Two is waiting. You have to wait for the chain to go live. This can take weeks or months depending on the fork, but more often takes hours or a few days (check the forked coin’s official webstek to confirm the chain is live, you’ll generally find a verbinding to the official wallet there spil well).
The idea here is that the developers need to dual check everything went spil planned before taking the main network online.
The only way around the waiting step is if you were on exchange that suggested futures of the forked coin (described above).
Recall, if you get futures and you trade them, realize that you are trading away your forked coins. Sometimes, like with Segwit2x, this is fine. The Segwit2x fork never occurred, so only users who traded futures benefited (holders of Bitcoin did not).
However, this can be pretty rough if the fork finishes up doing well. Imagine selling your Bitcoin Contant futures for $200 ter August. That isn’t ideal, today the coins trades around $Trio,000.
Anyways, if you don’t have futures (and maybe even if you do), step Two is “wait.” Yes, waiting wasgoed significant enough that it got its own step.
WARNING: If you attempt to skip step Two, you could fall victim to malware or cons. For every fork, there is a fake wallet and a fake set of instructions attempting to trick you. Ter every case, the aim of the malicious software/instructions is to get you to transfer your Bitcoin into the void. If you send your Bitcoin into the void (AKA to some internet thief) then you have lost your Bitcoin. Don’t do this, wait for official instructions!
STEP Three – Once the Chain is Live You Can Voorkoop Your Coins… If You Are Ter Control of Your Private Keys, Otherwise, More Waiting…
If you are ter control of your private keys: Once the devs announce that the fresh forked chain is live, you are ready to optie your coins. Te most cases, and with all coins that work like Bitcoin, to do this you’ll need to configure the wallet of the forked coin and invoer a copy of your Bitcoin keys (specifically your private key). This means you’ll need to make a copy of the same public and private keys that you used for the wallet(s) ter which you stored Bitcoin during the snapshot (you don’t have to have coins te them anymore, and honestly you shouldn’t keep your coins te them when you do this, but you do need the public and private keys). For this reason it is significant to retain access to all wallets ter which you held Bitcoin during the snapshot. It is also significant to wait until you know the fresh chain is stable. If the coin doesn’t have replay protection, it could result ter you losing any Bitcoin still ter that wallet. Since this is true, it is best practices to stir your balance before you attempt to keuze the forked coin (so all addresses used to voorwaarde forked coins should have a zero balance at the time you go to eis the forked coin, that is VERY Significant). All that said, ter terms of claiming forked coins, you may want to “wait” even if you control your private keys. Let someone else play crash test dummy, and then once everyone is sure “replay protection” is there and the wallet is stable, at that point its safe to configure your fresh wallet and voorwaarde your coins.
If you are te a wallet that supports the forked coin: You need to go after the directions of the wallet and configure the wallet for the fresh forked coin.
If you are on an exchange or managed wallet (like Coinbase) that supports the forked coin: Wait until they credit your account. Using a third party is the simplest solution for coins ter many ways, but it can be the most tense spil all your friends are already configuring their wallets and trading futures you are just like “I wonder if Coinbase is going to blog about this?” Anyways….
If you are claiming a “forked” coin from a network like Ethereum: With Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and other such networks you may not need to go through the same process you do with a coin like Bitcoin when a fork occurs… this is because te some cases a fresh network is not actually being created, instead a token that uses a copy of the existing ledger is being created on the existing network. Thus, some forks and fork-like-events on networks like the Ethereum network will simply require you to configure your existing Ether wallet to explosion the fresh token (you won’t need to budge your coins, download a fresh wallet, or actually invoer your private keys). You can see an example of this with Callisto an Ethereum Classic’s network.
STEP Four – HODL (AKA WAITING)
Now that you have your fresh coins, you should likely “Hold on for Dear Life” (AKA HODL) and wait for them to go up te value. If you don’t think your forked coins have the potential to see a nice increase or two overheen the next year, you don’t know crypto.
I strongly suggest not trading away your coins out of the gate unless you are ready to buy them back strategically. However, what you do with your forked coins truly depends on your private goals and the confidence you have te the fork.
Historically, holding a forked coin has often [but not always] bot more profitable than attempting to sell it out of the gate for a low price (if you see a giant spike ter price out of the gate, by all means, take that into account, I’m only telling don’t be the one who sells your Bitcoin Specie for $200).
That is indeed all there is to it. The gist is spil plain spil “be te Bitcoin for the fork, te a wallet where you control your private keys or a toneel that supports the fork.” Then, eis your coins by following the processes noted above (which can differ depending on the verhoging you had your coins on and the type of fork it is).
“How to Get “Forked Coins” From Bitcoin Forks” contains information about the following Cryptocurrencies: