Bitcoin’s biggest company, with some 10 million customers, has clarified their position on the labeling of potentially two chains following a planned fork on or around November 16th 2017. Coinbase says:
“The Bitcoin Segwit2x fork is projected to take place on November 16th and will temporarily result in two bitcoin blockchains.
Following the fork, Coinbase will continue referring to the current bitcoin blockchain as Bitcoin (BTC) and the forked blockchain as Bitcoin2x (B2X).”
They do not clarify the basis of their decision, but in an FAQ they says: “If the Segwit2x change is accepted by most users, we may choose to rename these blockchains at a later date.”
How they ascertain acceptance is unclear, but you’d think they’d go by price, which itself would probably be significantly influenced by the labeling.
That, in turn, may have been influenced by futures markets which show Segwit2x trading at around 1/5th of bitcoin’s current price while 1x is at around 4/5th.
Coinbase will list both currencies, and will do so immediately, in quite some contrast to how they handled Bitcoin Cash which has still not been delivered to their rightful owners by the company. They say:
“Within 24 hours post fork. Coinbase customers will be able to buy and sell both Bitcoin and Bitcoin2x. When you visit Coinbase.com or open your Coinbase app, you will see your new Bitcoin2x balance (in Accounts).”
The only question now remaining is whether there will actually be two chains. Some 85% of miners continue showing support for segwit2x, with just 15% for the current chain, an amount unlikely to be sufficient without protocol level changes.
However, there’s still just above three weeks to go, so that may change. If it doesn’t, the situation will be interesting on many levels.
Just as Coinbase’s decision to call the current chain as BTC, rather than sticking to the longest chain, is quite interesting. Not least because they signed the New York Agreement.
The company has, in many ways, thrown in their lot with ethereum. Developing eth based WeChat like apps and generally supporting the ethereum ecosystem.
That may also explain their behavior towards Bitcoin Cash, which they are still holding. And seeing they will distribute segwit2x in effect instantly, we can say they are holding their customer’s BCH for no good reason whatever.