Ethereum Close Hard Fork to Affect Ether, Bitcoin-Altcoin Trading on Kraken

Kraken has announced plans to temporarily disable ETH deposits and withdrawals on its platform ahead of a planned hard fork.

Kraken is the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity. It’s also trading in Canadian dollars, US dollars, British pounds and Japanese yen.

The fork is slated tentatively for July 20. Traders in ETH, LTC, XRP, XLM, or XDG have been informed by the exchange that dealings in the currency will be disabled for approximately one hour before the hard fork activates.

ETH deposits to be disabled 1 hour before the fork

Kraken notes via email:

“As you may know, the Ethereum community has elected to do a hard fork in order to resolve the DAO exploit. The MainNet block on which the hard fork will occur is set at 1920000, which should be reached on Wednesday July 20 (this is only an estimate however).

“ETH deposits and withdrawals will be disabled approximately 1 hour before the hard fork activates. Trading will continue as normal during the fork. All ETH on Kraken after the fork will be tokens of the winning chain (i.e. the chain with the most work on it). ETH deposits and withdrawals will be enabled again once the winning chain has become clearly evident. We expect the hard fork process to be smooth and quick, but there is no certainty of this.”

Bitcoin-altcoin pairs affected

Due to strong client demand, the need to improve the uniformity of its markets (all altcoins priced in terms of XBT) and to align its markets with other exchanges, Kraken says it will also be reversing bitcoin-altcoin pairs - XBT/LTC, XBT/XRP, XBT/XLM, and XBT/XDG pairs - on Tuesday July 19 at approximately 2-4pm UTC as follows:

XBT/LTC → LTC/XBT (with 6 decimal place precision)
XBT/XRP → XRP/XBT (with 8 decimal place precision)
XBT/XLM → XLM/XBT (with 8 decimal place precision)
XBT/XDG → XDG/XBT (with 8 decimal place precision)

On the same day, it says:

“All trading on XBT/LTC, XBT/XRP, XBT/XLM, and XBT/XDG will be halted. All open orders will be cancelled with the exception of basic limit orders which will be converted to their nearest equivalents in the new reversed markets. This means that buy orders will become sell orders and sell orders will become buy orders (since an order to sell XBT/LTC is equivalent to an order to buy LTC/XBT). Also, prices will be converted to their inverse 1/x equivalents.”

Since the price conversion “cannot be perfect due to rounding errors and precision limitations”, Kraken says, those who are likely to be concerned about their orders being converted on the platform are advised to cancel all open orders prior to July 19 at 2 pm UTC.