You've probably heard that the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network is on track to experience a planned protocol change via a hard fork on November 15, 2018. Here's what you need to know about how this hard fork will affect your BitPay payments:
What's happening with Bitcoin Cash?
BitPay's system uses the primary software implementation of Bitcoin Cash called Bitcoin ABC. Bitcoin ABC has scheduled a Bitcoin Cash protocol change via hard fork on November 15th.
While non-backward-compatible hard forks allow for rapid protocol innovation, they also carry a risk of creating a permanent split in a network. It is possible that Bitcoin Cash will experience this kind of split. This would create two versions of the Bitcoin Cash chain, resulting in disruptions for Bitcoin Cash payments.
What will BitPay do during the hard fork?
To minimize risks to merchants and Bitcoin Cash users during the hard fork, BitPay will temporarily pause Bitcoin Cash payment processing. Bitcoin Cash payments will be unavailable starting two hours prior to the expected start of the hard fork, at about 10 AM EST. We will send an email update to you during the time of the fork and when BitPay resumes Bitcoin Cash processing.
How will this affect my BitPay customers?
Your customers will see an error message if they attempt to pay with BCH during this downtime. They will be able to pay with Bitcoin (BTC) without interruption.
Will settlements be affected? What about customer refunds?
BitPay will settle BCH merchant balances and continue to process BCH refunds as usual.
What will BitPay do after the fork?
BitPay has not made any plans to migrate from the Bitcoin ABC implementation of Bitcoin Cash to a different implementation. BitPay will closely monitor network conditions and the chains resulting from a chain split. We will restore Bitcoin Cash payment processing when we are confident that your customers can pay securely. Again, your customers will continue to be able to pay with Bitcoin (BTC) without interruption.
Have any more questions about how the November 15th Bitcoin Cash fork will affect your business? As always, please feel free to reach out to our customer success team.