UPDATE, 11/10/17: Several companies including Bitmain (a large miner) have suspended Segwit2x efforts. We are still monitoring the situation, but we now believe that bitcoin miners will not activate the protocol change as expected.
Some background on Segwit2x
A majority of Bitcoin miners have signaled their intent to deploy Segwit2x, a Bitcoin protocol change which increases the base size of Bitcoin transaction "blocks" (groups of bitcoin transactions). The final part of this change is scheduled to occur when Bitcoin block #494,784 is mined. Right now, this protocol change will likely activate in mid-November.
In some cases, in-progress protocol changes can temporarily increase the risk of using the Bitcoin network for payments. These risks include the increased risk of double-spending transactions. When risks like these are present, we must take steps to protect our users.
How BitPay plans to respond to Segwit2x
To prevent payment risk for our cardholders and for our services during the Segwit2x protocol change, BitPay will be shutting down BTC to fiat card loads 24 hours before the protocol change begins.
Loads will continue to be unavailable until we are sure that payment risks have passed. BitPay is not in control of the protocol change, so there is unfortunately nothing we can do to speed up this process.
How you can prepare for Segwit2x
We know many of you rely on the BitPay Card for day to day purchases, so we will work to restore BTC service as soon as it is safe. If you will need your BitPay Card during the week of the fork, we recommend loading it with fiat in advance.
How you will be able to use your card during the protocol change
While the Segwit2x protocol change is taking place, you will be able to continue to load your BitPay Card with fiat via non-BTC methods such as cash load, direct deposit (US-only), or Visa Direct (non-US only). We will restore bitcoin-to-dollar load services as soon as it is safe.
You will also continue to be able to spend and withdraw with your card without issue. Remember: once your funds are on the card, they are held in fiat currency. There is no risk to holding or using your current card funds during the protocol change.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Could the bitcoin network split over Segwit2x?
While most miners signaled their support of the Segwit2x protocol change, not all support it. If miners are divided over this change, there is a significant risk of a chain split.
If there is a network split, which block chain will BitPay's services use?
If a chain split occurs, BitPay’s services will follow the chain with the most accumulated difficulty. We will refer to the minority chain as BC1 (if Segwit2x is the majority) or BC2 (if Segwit2x is the minority).
Learn more about how BitPay will respond to a network split.
Will card loading be supported on the minority chain?
We have no plans to offer our services on the minority chain. Learn more about why BitPay processes payments on the block chain with the most accumulated difficulty.
For US Residents: The BitPay Visa Prepaid Card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa, U.S.A. Inc. “Metropolitan” and “Metropolitan Commercial Bank” are registered trademarks of Metropolitan Commercial Bank © 2014. Use of the Card is subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Cardholder Agreement and fee schedule, if any.
For Non-US Residents: The BitPay Visa® Prepaid Card is issued by Wave Crest Holdings Limited pursuant to a license from Visa® Europe. Visa® is a registered trademark of Visa Incorporated. Wave Crest Holdings Limited is a licensed electronic money institution by the Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar.