Ledger, the popular hardware wallet manufacturer based out of France, has recently revealed the company’s contingency plans for the upcoming Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork scheduled for Nov. 15. On Tuesday, Oct. 30, Ledger explained to its customer base that the organization will be pausing bitcoin cash services on Nov. 15 and the company plans to wait until a dominant chain appears to reinstate BCH services.
Also read: A Look at Bitcoin Replay Attacks and Self-Managed UTXO Protection
Ledger to Suspend BCH Transactions During the November Fork
In fifteen days the Bitcoin Cash network will possibly face a hard fork with consensus changes. The problem right now, however, is there are two different visions for the upgrade, with two development teams proposing new BCH rule sets that are poles apart. This means there could be a potential for a chain split due to the disagreeing development teams Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV. Now, two weeks before the fork, Ledger has announced its wallet services will be pausing bitcoin cash transactions because the conflicting proposals have not reached consensus and both implementations do not have replay protection.
“Ledger will suspend the Bitcoin Cash service until it is clear which of these chains will be the stable one, both technically and economically — The reason for closing the service during this time is to prevent unwanted transactions (resulting from “replay attacks”), causing possible loss of funds and other potential issues interacting with Bitcoin Cash during this period of time,” explained the company’s recent blog post.
Depending on the outcome of the fork, we will communicate about our next move when we have a clearer vision of its result — Be advised that during this service disruption, your Bitcoin Cash private keys will remain secured.
BCH Proponents Expect to Hear More Contingency Plans
The hardware wallet service detailed in its blog post that it plans to watch the fork unfold and proceed with a plan after evaluating the integrity of both chains. The wallet’s users will be able to see when the Bitcoin Cash network has been reinstated on Ledger’s status page, the company emphasized. The announcement from Ledger also follows the two exchanges who published contingency plans for November’s BCH fork during the first week of September.
The trading platforms Bitasiaex and Coinex were the first two companies to inform their customers on how they intend to deal with the fork. Coinex plans to do a snapshot of all BCH assets and customers will get a 1:1 split if a bifurcation occurs during the fork. Bitasiaex explains they will also provide a 1:1 and will be watching the fork in order to give the chain “with the most proof-of-work the BCH ticker.”
As of right now, two weeks before the fork, both development teams have not added replay protection and many BCH supporters believe it’s very likely the two clients will proceed without adding the protocol. The outcome may lead to a ‘hash war’ and because bitcoin cash uses a concept called Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXO), when a split occurs without replay protection, both chains are an exact reflection of each other and it’s possible (when sending a transaction after a split) UTXOs can be replayed on both networks. Replay attacks can lead to financial losses if there are mistakes and network confusion or a malicious attacker reuses transaction data on both chains.
Over the next two weeks, it’s likely that more exchanges and wallet providers will be outlining their plans for the Nov. 15 BCH hard fork. It’s safe to assume that because the clients Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC do not have replay protection for the upcoming fork, other infrastructure services will pause BCH transactions until the dust settles. Ledger wallet does offer the ability to use the Ledger wallet system with an Electron Cash supporting wallet and customers can make transactions at their own risk, Ledger concluded on Tuesday.
What do you think about Ledger wallet’s recent announcement concerning the Bitcoin Cash network hard fork on Nov. 15? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Ledger Wallet, Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin SV, and Pixabay.
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