Hardware wallet manufacturer Trezor drew criticism after it announced Bitcoin Cash (BCH) holders hoping to receive an airdrop with the hard fork expected for Nov. 15 will have to transfer their coins elsewhere.
In a Nov. 5 announcement, Trezor’s parent company SatoshiLabs asserted it will wait for the community to determine which Bitcoin Cash implementation will dominate the network moving forward:
“SatoshiLabs will not be participating in the fork until a decision is made by the community. If you wish to take part in the fork, you should transfer your BCH balance to another wallet which is supporting the coin split, to make sure you receive any coins resulting from the hard fork.”
Once the fork has taken place, SatoshiLabs will “monitor whether the forked chain has sufficient support to justify supporting it,” and will support whichever implementation secures majority support from the community.
SatoshiLabs will also assess whether the minority chain has “sufficient support to justify supporting it.”
Bitcoin Cash is set to split in two with its next scheduled upgrade on Nov. 15. Internal tensions flared in August when Amaury Sechet, the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC — the historically dominant implementation of Bitcoin Cash — published an update that would introduce a new “coinbase rule,” diverting 8% of block reward to a development fund in his control.
The conflict sparked the rival implementation, Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN), which has since secured support from more than 75% of BCH miners.
Bitcoin ABC’s implementation is controversial, as it includes an 8% “tax” on all block rewards going to a wallet controlled by Sechet.
Trezor’s decision not to support coin-splitting during the fork means that users who hold Bitcoin Cash in their hard wallet will need to move them to an exchange or some other wallet in order to get their BCHN coins in the fork.
The move left many Trezor users perplexed, with Twitter user John Moriarty saying he was “very disappointed”:
“The vast majority of the BCH ecosystem has rejected the IFP being introduced by ABC ... You’ll have to explain why people’s coins suddenly dropped in value by over 90%, and then deal with switching chains after the fact.”
Moriarty’s thread was praised on Reddit’s /r/BTC subreddit, with user u/AD1AD calling it “Pretty embarrassingly unprofessional behavior” and calling the company’s statement misleading. Other users were also unhappy with the move:
So my #bitcoincash on Trezor will default to ABC fork, get a devtax on nov 15th & drop 90% in value. Later maybe Trezor will flip to BCHN fork if it proves dominant in hashpower, annuling the damage.— Marc De Mesel (@MarcDeMesel) November 5, 2020
Can I take this risk with my $BCH stash?
In the last seven days, only 1% of all BCH blocks signaled support for Bitcoin ABC, meaning the hash power supporting ABC’s proposition has been quite small. Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) has received backing from miners since its inception, with 75.3% of blocks mined currently signaling for its support.
The fork’s Nov. 15 date also signifies the two-year anniversary of the Bitcoin Cash split with Bitcoin SV (BSV) that occurred during the last Bitcoin Cash hard fork — an example where both chains of the fork managed to survive after going down irreconcilable paths. Last month, the price of BCH hit fresh lows against BTC, with the upcoming fork unlikely to improve morale among an already fractured community.