Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX today clarified company policy on potential disruptions to the Bitcoin network. Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, who last week published a SegWit decision timeline mapping out the whole ordeal stated, “anyone can create a chain fork of Bitcoin at any time. The possibility of a User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF) on 1 August 2017 requires that we clarify our position on any and all potential hard forks.”
BitMEX, as a custodian of user funds, has as its top priority protecting the assets of its customers. In order to effectively do this, the company is insisting that any Bitcoin hard fork includes the following:
- Strong two-way replay protection, enabled by default, such that transactions on each chain are invalid on the other chain.
- A clean break, such that the new chain cannot be “wiped out” by the original chain.
- A modification to the block header such that all wallets (including light clients) are required to upgrade to follow the new chain.
- A minimum of three months of open testing and review, before the client is formally released and a further three months after this, before the fork activates.
Should a hard fork not follow these policies, BitMEX says they will not list the coin and may not allow users to withdraw this coin from BitMEX. To be clear, they do not intend to access or keep these coins. The administrative overhead of distributing any and all hard-forked coins (including Bitcoin-based distributions like Byteball/Lumens) is prohibitive and BitMEX will not monitor or maintain balances of hard-forked coins.
Additionally, BitMEX says the support of any forked currency is solely at their discretion. While BitMEX will snap users’ margin balances at the time of the fork in case they decide to distribute, there is no guarantee that it will be safe, desirable, or practical to do so. If this is concerning, users should withdraw funds before any given fork and handle the split on their own.
In a future case where a block size increase has super majority support of the community and is handled responsibly, BitMEX intends to follow said chain and the company will communicate with its traders accordingly.
1 August 2017 UAHF BitMEX Policy
The Bitcoin Cash (BCC) proposal is aimed at increasing the block size. It is scheduled to take place on 1 August 2017. This change is incompatible with the current Bitcoin ruleset and therefore a new coin may be created, which is to be named “Bitcoin Cash”.
It is BitMEX’s understanding that the UAHF proposal does not include two-way replay protection enabled by default. Should the UAHF occur, BitMEX may be unable to protect the new Bitcoin Cash tokens on behalf of clients.
As such, BitMEX stated they will not support the split or distribution of Bitcoin Cash, nor will BitMEX be liable for any Bitcoin Cash sent to BitMEX. Therefore, it is up to users to withdraw from their accounts prior to August 1st if they wish to access Bitcoin Cash tokens or any other hardfork.
BitMEX considers any and all hard forks in this vein as altcoins. Its .BXBT and .BXBTJPY indices will remain unchanged and will not include BCC.