This article covers how to claim Bitcoin Cash for those who had Bitcoins when the hard fork took place back in August 2017.
What is Bitcoin Cash?
On August 1st 2017 a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain was created called Bitcoin Cash. The community behind the new Bitcoin Cash currency believe that recent changes to Bitcoin, notably BIP91, have not addressed issues such as the 1MB maximum size of a block. They feel that the changes aren’t being made with the idea of Bitcoin being a currency, hence naming their hard fork Bitcoin Cash.
The good news is that if you had any Bitcoins in your Bitcoin wallet as of block 478558 on August 1st 2017, you will have the exact same amount of Bitcoin Cash available to you.
If you would like to read my review on Bitcoin Cash, check it out here.
How do I claim Bitcoin Cash?
It is important to note that if you store stored your Bitcoins on an online exchange at the time of the fork, you will need to check to see if your exchange supports Bitcoin Cash. Not all exchanges have support for Bitcoin Cash yet with some having plans to support in future and others planning to never support it at all.
If you hold your own Bitcoins personally on a wallet, perfect, you can follow the instructions below to claim Bitcoin Cash right away.
***Before doing anything, it is highly recommended to clear out any Bitcoins from your existing Bitcoin addresses before claiming the Bitcoin Cash from them. Please make sure you do this and do not follow any of the instructions before doing so.***
Here is how to claim Bitcoin Cash:
Head to https://electroncash.org and download the Electron Cash wallet. Please note that it looks similar to the Electrum wallet, but is made by different people. Electrum themselves recommend using Electron Cash as you can see here: https://electrum.org/bcc2.txt.
Once downloaded, install Electron Cash on your computer.
Once installed, run Electron Cash on your computer.
At the first prompt, click “Next” to continue.
When prompted “How do you want to connect to the server?” choose the “Auto connect” option.
When prompted about which kind of wallet to create, choose “Standard wallet”.
If you have never used Electrum before, choose “create a new seed” and write the seed mnemonic down and keep it safe. If you have used Electrum before, you can import the seed you used before here.
Create an encryption key when prompted to do so. Do not forget the encryption key.
You should now have the Electron Cash wallet fully loaded.
Go to Wallet > Private keys > Sweep.
Enter your Private Key(s) and hit “Sweep”.
If everything has gone to plan, you should see the value of your Bitcoins appear in mBCH format.
Click “Broadcast” and give it a few moments, and boom! You’re done!
As Bitcoin Cash and the wallet software surrounding it is so new, I would personally recommend moving them over to an Exchange as soon as possible. I would also recommend not re-using any of the addresses/private keys ever again just to be extra safe.
As of October 2017 Bitcoin has now also forked to Bitcoin Gold too. For a guide on how to claim this, check my article here.
If you have any questions regarding any of this, or want to know anything else, please leave a comment in the section below.