Warning: this guide reveals the exact method the author used to claim free Bitcoin CasH and exchange it for Bitcoin on the 2nd of August. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure complete and accurate information, the author can’t guarantee a successful outcome for those following this method.
Waiting for better documented methods and more familiar exchanges to offer BCH deposits is the safer play in this situation. However, as more people figure out how to sell their coins, profitability may well decrease.
Bitcoin Cash – The Beginning
Bitcoin Cash (aka Bcash, BCH or BCC) forked off from Bitcoin on the 1st of August and its launch has proven rather rocky. Three days later, only 2 exchanges are supporting Bcash deposits – and its price has crashed on both.
It still takes relatively a lot of time to get Bcash transactions into the blockchain and that’s due to the high difficulty of mining. Bcash forked with the same mining difficulty as Bitcoin but only a small fraction (around 5%) of its hashrate. Bcash’s first (or genesis block) took around 7 hours to be found.
The difficulty adjustment process was meant to compensate for this, reducing difficulty to a level more appropriate for Bcash’s low hashrate within a few blocks. However, miners from “Genesis Block,” an aptly named, high-tech hostel in Hong Kong, apparently began mining Bcash for fun and marketing purposes.
The hostel’s additional, unexpected hashpower greatly delayed Bcash’s difficulty adjustment process. As a result, Bcash blocks remain slow, although difficulty has since adjusted to about ¼ of Bitcoin’s. You can use this Bitcoin Cash block explorer to see the status of the current blocks (take a look at the bottom).
Free Bitcoin Cash for Bitcoiners
If you held any bitcoin in a personal wallet (or on certain exchange wallets listed here) then congrats, you own an equal amount of Bcash too!
If you wish to sell your Bcash, there are 2 things you need to do, in the following order:
1) Split you Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash
If your BTC was held on one of the exchanges listed, the exchange will have taken care of this process for you. When you log in, you should see a BCH (or possibly, “BCC”) balance in a new exchange wallet, in addition to your regular BTC wallet. The amounts in both wallets should match, assuming you haven’t made any recent trades or transactions.
If your bitcoins were held in a personal wallet, you’ll have to split them yourself. We cover splitting for Ledger, TREZOR and for the Electrum software wallet. Note that the general procedure used for Electrum is applicable to other software wallets, although the precise steps will vary.
2) Sell your Bitcoin Cash on an exchange
For those whose bitcoins were held on an exchange which split BCH from BTC and offers a market in BCH trading, you’re already done – sell your BCH whenever you feel like it.
Everyone else will have to decide between the three exchanges currently accepting BCH deposits; HitBTC, ViaBTC and Bittrex. I used HitBTC for two good reasons:
- HitBTC requires only 2 confirmations before deposited BCH are credited to your account and made available for trading purposes. As Bcash blocks are still very slow (up to 8 hours delay), this could be a real time saver. By contrast, it appears other exchanges requires 20 confirmations before approving any withdrawals.
- HitBTC offers a quick and easy registration, which requires only an email address to complete.
Keep in mind that because HitBTC is one of the only exchanges allowing to actually deposit BCH many people are selling it on the platform which causes the exchange rate to be lower than on other platforms.
Before going any further make sure you have a backup of your wallet at hand. Using any of these methods without a back could result in total loss of your coins. DO NOT CONTINUE WITHOUT A BACKUP!
Claiming Bitcoin Cash in Ledger Nano S
Claiming Bitcoin Cash in TREZOR
Claiming Bitcoin Cash in Electrum
Claiming Bitcoin Cash in Exodus
Claiming Bitcoin Cash in Blochchain.info and other wallets
Splitting your Bitcoins in a Ledger Nano S
Splitting with ledger is a fairly simple process but not an intuitive one, make sure to follow these exact steps:
Step 1 – Back up your Ledger wallet
Throughout the process you will need to update your firmware, this will wipe all of the data from your device. Make sure to have a back up before moving forward or you will lose all of your coins.
Step 2 – Update your Ledger Firmware
Download the Ledger Manager for chrome, go to “Firmwares” on the left hand side and click on “Install”. You will then be prompted to confirm this action on your device. Once the update is complete you will need to import your wallet from your seed phrase. The complete steps to this process can be found here.
Once you have a firmware version that is 1.3.1 and above, you can move on to step 3.
Step 3 – Download the Bitcoin Cash App
Inside the Ledger Manager, go to “application” and download the Bitcoin Cash app (2nd from the top).
Step 4 – Create a separate Bitcoin Cash wallet on your Ledger
If you had Bitcoins before the fork, Ledger now splits those Bitcoins into BTC and BCH but keeps them on the same wallet. It’s recommended to use a separate (aka split) wallet to manage your BCH. This step isn’t mandatory but is advised. If you wish to skip this step move straight to step 6.
Connect your ledger and select “Bitcoin Cash” from the available options on the device. The following screen will open:
Select “Bitcoin Cash”. The following screen will ask if you want to access the main wallet (BTC and BCH combined) or the split wallet (Only BCH). Select “split”.
Go to “receive” and generate a BCH address. You will later send your Main wallet’s BCH to this address. Once you have your BCH address move to step 5.
Step 5 – Send your BCH from your main wallet to your split wallet
Go to “settings” – “Blockchains” and this time choose “Bitcoin Cash” and “Main”.
This wallet holds your newly formed BCH along with your BTC. It’s now time to send them to your split wallet.
Go to “send” and send your BCH to your split wallet address which you’ve retrieved on step 4.
Step 6 – Send your BCH to an exchange
You can now go to “Settings” – “Blockchains” and log back into your split wallet. You will need to wait for a new BCH block to be mined until you can see that your transaction is confirmed. Once it’s confirmed you can send your BCH into an exchange or hold on to them.
For the official ledger guide click here.
Splitting your Bitcoins in TREZOR
Due to only having a week to prepare for the launch of the final version of Bcash code, Trezor’s wallet does not currently support BCH (although they’re working on a fix). It is however possible to use an online tool by TREZOR in order to split your BCH and simultaneously send it to a BCH address.
Thoroughly review Trezor’s guide to this process and check their Twitter and subreddit for any updates. Sometimes the tool is offline and recently some bugs were found in it.
Step 1 – Visit the beta version of Trezor wallet. You should use Google Chrome to access the wallet; the author was unable to complete the process using Firefox or a clean install thereof.
Make sure that you’re on the beta site: https://beta-wallet.trezor.io
The reason for visiting the beta Trezor wallet is that it enables you to update your Trezor’s firmware to the latest, beta version (1.5.1). Particularly if you haven’t performed this process before, you should study Trezor’s guide to firmware updates.
Step 2 – Be certain you have a backup of your seed phrase and update your firmware. This is done as follows:
- disconnect the device
- plug it in while holding both device buttons pressed
Step 3 – Go to the Coin Splitting Tool. Click on “Connect with TREZOR”. Reconnect your device and enter the PIN as usual.
Step 4 – Select the account you want to split BCH from and enter an address to send the BCH to. It is possible to enter the exchange funding address directly in this stage (see below how to get a deposit address for HitBTC).
Splitting your Bitcoins in Electrum
If you have an Electrum Bitcoin wallet, we suggest you follow this excellent guide put together by the Electrum developers. In case that any of this doesn’t make complete sense to you, please don’t use this method it’s pretty risky.
Here’s a TL;DR version of it:
Step 1 – Write down all of your Bitcoin addresses that had Bitcoins in them during the fork.
Step 2 – Go to Wallet – Private Keys – Export and write down only the keys that are related to the addresses you’ve found in step 1.
Step 3 – Move all of your Bitcoins to a new Electrum wallet (create a new wallet through file – new/restore). You’re doing this so that if any of the private keys you exported are compromised in some way, your Bitcoins will be in a new address with a different private key.
Step 4 – ON A DIFFERENT COMPUTER install the Electron Cash wallet. Here’s the reason why it needs to be on a different machine:
The person who distributes the Electron Cash binaries has decided to remain anonymous, and uses the fake name "Jonald Fyookball" in order to sign Electron Cash binaries. Thus, if these binaries contain code that is designed to steal your bitcoins, the author of the theft will be anonymous and walk away safely with your funds.
Step 5 – Import your private keys into Electron Cash. Once done you can use your new coins via that wallet.
Splitting your coins in Exodus
The following process was supplied by one of our users and not tested by us. Use it with caution. In any case of uncertainly please contact Exodus support (they are VERY helpful and fast to respond):
Step 1 – download the latest version of the Exodus desktop wallet from the Exodus website.
Step 2 – Create your account on Hitbtc as already stated in the article and get your BCC address.
Step 3– Install the Exodus wallet and click on “Help” menu on the left panel. Scroll down to the menu items on the right and click on the menu called “How do I claim my bitcoin cash (BCH)”.
Step 4 – Keep your BCC address (that you got from Hitbtc) handy and follow the instructions. It will calculate the amount of BTC that was in the Exodus wallet before 1st August 2017 and ask you the BCC address where you want to transfer the BCC.
Step 5 – Enter the BCC address and transfer. It might take 2-4hrs for the transfer to take place.
To convert the BCC to BTC and transfer it back to your Exodus wallet and continue following this article.
Here is the original article from Exodus.
Splitting in Blockchain.info and Other Software Wallets
Update: around October 2017 Blockchain.info will add Bitcoin Cash support and you will automatically be able to see your Bitcoin Cash balance. More info can be found here.
On old Blockchain.info wallets Login and then go to Settings > Addresses on the left.
Then find your address that has your BTC balance (which held BTC at the time of the 8/1 fork) and click on More Options, then Private Keys. After that just follow the same sequence as in the Electrum guide.
In the new version of Blockchain.info you should go to security – wallet recovery phrase and write down your 12 word seed. After that just follow the same sequence as in the Electrum guide.
Here’s a guide for getting your BCC from Mycelium.
Here’s a great video about Getting you BCH from software wallets:
The order of sequence laid out in the Electrum guide will be safe for any software wallet, as far as we know. The major point to keep in mind is that you must generate a new wallet (not just a new address), send your bitcoins to the new wallet, and only then is it safe to export the private key of your old wallet into your Bcash wallet. If you’re unsure how to accomplish any of these steps, it’s best to wait for a detailed guide for your specific wallet.
Selling your coins on HitBTC
HitBTC is a European exchange (apparently headquartered in Hong Kong) which has been operational since 2013. They don’t seem to have experienced any major hacks or other negative events in that time, which is good going by crypto exchange standards.
Here are the steps for exchange BCH on HitBTC
Step 1 – sign up for an account
Step 2 – Sign in and navigate to your Bcash wallet by selecting the “Account”.
scroll down to “BCC” in the list of coins and click the “Fund” button (circle with +). Your BCC deposit address will now be generated and displayed. Note that BCC addresses look just like Bitcoin address, so be very careful that you don’t confuse the two!
Step 3 – Send the BCC from your wallet into your HitBTC BCC account.
Step 4 – Wait for at least 2 blocks to be mined on the Bcash network.
Step 5 – Move your coins into your trading account. Click the rightwards facing arrow icon, then on the expanded bar, input or verify the amount to transfer. Finally, click transfer.
Step 6 – Select the “Exchange” tab at the top left and select the currency you wish to sell your BCH for. Make the exchange. The simplest way to sell is via a market order. This will sell as many BCH as you specify at the best available price(s).
There are other types of orders which may allow you to get a better price for your BCH. Check out Limit orders too, which allow you to place a sell order for your chosen amount of BCH into the order book at a specific price. This allows you to wait for the market to meet your price, although be aware that if your price is too high the coins may never sell. In this case, you will have to cancel your active order and place a new one at a lower price level.
Step 8 – Withdraw your bitcoins, or other currency. Return to the “Account” tab, then transfer your BTC (or whichever currency you sold for) from your trading to your deposit / withdrawal account.
The withdraw dialog will then require your Bitcoin address. Ensure that you paste a Bitcoin address from a Bitcoin wallet under your control, not the Bcash address you used to deposit funds initially!
Congratulations, you’ve just increased your bitcoin holdings with almost no work! HitBTC sends out withdrawals almost immediately so you should soon be able to see your unconfirmed transaction in any block explorer.
Should I Sell or Hold?
Of course, you’re not forced to sell your BCH. You may wish to hold it, perhaps because you believe in the coin’s long term prospects or think patience will be rewarded with a better price.
Bcash is currently trading above $300 on most exchanges, which in this author’s opinion is high for an altcoin with no established economy, unknown developers, vulnerably low hashrate and no real technical innovations.
Rhetoric aside, Bcash offers no tangible advantages over Bitcoin. The codebase has been gutted of major Bitcoin protocol upgrades, such as SegWit and Replace By Fee.
Bcash addresses scaling by the relatively crude means of multiplying its maximum block size from 1 to 8 megabytes. This has the consequence of increasing operational demands across all nodes; likely increasing miner centralisation.
A Tip for Selling – Blocks and Drops
Each new block transmits coins onto exchanges, releasing pent-up selling pressure. Given the limited liquidity of these exchanges, the result is a steep drop as many coins are sold simultaneously. This pattern may be clearly seen in the following chart:
BCH/BTC 1 minute chart with recent blocks demarcated.
Notice that price drops coincide with volume spikes.
Waiting for a block can be a tedious process. Currently, the best way to monitor Bcash blocks in real-time is via this block explorer. Bcash blocks currently take around 2 hours to find (but may take much longer).
After the step “Import your private keys into Electron Cash”, how long do I need to wait until the coin appear in the electron cash wallet? I have waited more than 24 hours, still nothing there.
It sounds like something has gone wrong as you shouldn’t need to wait more than a minute. Electron Cash only needs long enough to check that the private key you imported match valid addresses on the Bcash network.
Are you sure your wallet is properly connecting to and syncing with Electron Cash servers? In the bottom right, there should be 3 icons – tools, a circular “light” and perhaps a lock symbol. The light should be green and when you click it should display your connection’s status: it should say “connected to X nodes.”
If it doesn’t say you’re connected, you’ll have to troubleshoot that issue before the wallet will display your coins.
Finally, are you sure you had Bitcoins under the control of the privkey you imported BEFORE the Bcash fork date of the 1st of August? If the privkey only controlled BTC after that date, you won’t be able to claim any Bcash.
In reviewing your video instructions I find that my “stash” did not go into a BitcoinABC wallet but it did go into my Ethereum wallet. That is why at that point I became confused because although I followed your instructions to a “T” nothing seemed to match after that. When my private keys completed downloading my bitcash was in my Ethereum wallet. Where can I go to get instructions for that wallet? I’m particularly interested in finding out about the “zbar.”
I don’t see how this situation is possible. Bitcoin (Cash) addresses and Ethereum addresses are incompatible. There’s just no way you could send Bitcoin (Cash) to an Ethereum address and have it succeed.
I should point out the video isn’t mine, it was created by an unrelated party.
I followed your instructions on the video down to where I now have my Bitcash encrypted in an Ethereum wallet. However, no amount shows but the QR is there. It says there is no “zBar” available now to redirect it to an Ethereum wallet in my Blockchain account. The instructions after the download are not true to what I am seeing before me on the screen. (Windows 7 OS). I do have my Ethereum passcode. Is there any chance that someone can help me find the “zBar” instructions or whatever it takes to transfer this into my Blockchain wallet? Or where I can get assistance with this? Thanks so much!
Thank you very much for such a wonderful post.
Really thanks for this guide, but I’m in a use case not covered by you and I have a doubt.
I had my BTC in an Electum wallet before the fork. Now I moved them into a new Electrum wallet.
Now, before importing my seeds into Electron Cash wallet I have a question.
Recently I bought a Ledger Nano S and I havent’t used it yet.
Can I import the seeds of my first wallet (that now has 0 BTC) to Ledger Nano S, instead of using Electron Cash?
If so, I guess you can add this use case in your guide:
If you had BTC on Electrum before the fork and now you want to move both BTC and BCC on a Ledger Nano S, you can simply import the seeds in Ledger Nano S (so avoiding the fees) and then use the procedure to split them into the Nano S.
Is it correct?
Thank you again for your useful guide.
To the best of my knowledge, you can’t import an Electrum seed into a Nano S. Electrum uses an incompatible BIP 39 wordlist. You also can’t restore a Ledger Nano S seed inside an Electrum wallet, according to:
Importing your Electrum seed would also defeat the security of your Nano S. It’s far more secure to allow the Nano S to internally generate and store it’s own privkey.
thank you so much or your detailed explanation. So I completed the “normal” procedure as it’s reported in the post.
Thank you again.
Correction: a Genesis block is the first block ever, i.e. the one block that has no ancestor.
The first BCash-only block isn’t a Genesis block. It’s merely the first that happens not to be acceptable to Bitcoin main, simply because it’s >1MB.