[Update 1: The Bitcoin Cash Network has been upgraded. BitPay has resumed BCH payments on the BCHN chain for wallet users as of 2:20 pm ET on 10/17/2020.]
[Update 2: BitPay has resumed BCH payments on the BCHN chain for merchants as of 10/20/2020 on the BCHN chain.]
What’s happening with Bitcoin Cash?
You may have heard, there’s a divide within the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community about the future of BCH. A proposed change to the Bitcoin Cash ABC protocol is scheduled to be implemented on Nov 15th 2020, which will most likely result in a contentious hard fork.
A contentious hard fork affecting BCH could result in a split into two separate blockchains — or it may not, leaving only one viable blockchain moving forward. None of us can say with any degree of certainty how the split will resolve itself (though here’s a resource that allows you to see which implementation miners are signaling support for.)
In the same way a public transit system would temporarily shut itself down to protect its commuters in the event of a major storm, we see it as our responsibility to protect BitPay customers who might be negatively impacted by this.
What does this mean for BitPay Merchants?
In order to restore safe and secure BCH payment processing and to reduce the risk of wallet customers losing BCH funds due to replay attacks, we are planning to temporarily suspend BCH transactions for all payment processing — effective November 13th, 2020 at 1pm ET — prior to the scheduled fork. We will resume payment processing for BCH after there is consensus reached on the network. We will still be processing BTC, ETH, XRP, USDC, GUSD, PAX and BUSD payments as normal.
How will merchant settlements and refunds be affected?
BCH settlements and refunds will also be disabled and will resume when payment processing is turned back on. In the case of any pending settlements or refunds, BitPay’s dedicated support team and account managers will be prepared to resolve any issues that may occur on a case-by-case basis.
What do BitPay and Copay wallet users need to know?
We will also temporarily suspend BCH transactions at 1pm ET on November 13th for wallet users. Since the BitPay and Copay wallets are true non-custodial wallets, you own your private keys. Your funds are secure and safe as long as they remain in your wallet. Once we restore service, you will be able to continue sending and receiving BCH on the chain we consider most secure.
It should be noted if there are two viable BCH chains remaining after the scheduled fork, it will be possible for wallet users to access coins from both chains at a later date with additional software. You have the option of importing your private key into a wallet which does support any new chain, should you wish to claim new coins that are created. BitPay does not have a plan at the moment to provide tools to access the coins in the minority chain.
Will this affect my ability to load my BitPay Prepaid Mastercard or buy gift cards with BCH?
BCH-to-dollar loads for your BitPay Card and gift card purchases in BCH will be temporarily disabled. You’ll still be able to use BTC, ETH, XRP, USDC, GUSD, PAX and BUSD during this time.
Your funds held in US dollars on the BitPay Card are not at risk from this fork. Your BitPay Card will continue to work whenever you pay with merchants or get cash from Mastercard® compatible ATMs.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for the fork or are my funds at risk?
If you use the BitPay wallet or another BCH-enabled wallet, we strongly advise against sending transactions during the time of the fork. BCH transactions will be at increased risk of replay attacks and loss of funds. BCH funds you hold in your own wallet will not be at risk.
What comes next after this fork?
BitPay will closely monitor network conditions until consensus is met. We will restore BCH payments when we are confident that you can transact securely, and we will notify you accordingly.