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 BCH-to-dollar load option for the BitPay Card:
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.
How does this affect my BitPay Card loads?
To protect Bitcoin Cash users during the hard fork, BitPay will temporarily pause Bitcoin Cash payment processing. This means that BCH-to-dollar loads for your BitPay Card will be unavailable starting two hours prior to the expected start of the hard fork, at about 10 AM EST.
You will still be able to use BTC-to-dollar loads during this time. If you use Bitcoin Cash primarily, you might want to load up your card in advance if you need to spend during the time of the fork.
Do I need to do anything to prepare for the fork?
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 swipe with merchants or get cash from Visa®-compatible ATMS.
If you use the BitPay wallet or another Bitcoin Cash wallet, we strongly advise against sending transactions during the time of the fork. Bitcoin Cash transactions will be at increased risk of loss or double-spending. Funds you hold in your own wallet will not be at risk.
What's next after this 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-to-dollar loads when we are confident that you can pay securely, and we will notify you accordingly. Until then, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to our customer success team.
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.