BITCOIN Forks! : The Safe Way To Store Your Bitcoins
We are all somewhat aware of the efforts taking place now to update bitcoin and the terms thrown around, BIP91, BIP148, Segwit, Segwit2x, UASF, UAHF, Bitcoin ABC, BTU, BTCC ...
All that does is create FUD in the market, if you do not know what FUD is read about it here:
As an expert/casual bitcoin investor, or a holder of Bitcoin for any reason. What should you do to keep your Bitcoins safe and avoid all this nonsense?
You do not need to know anything about segwit activation or any of the other terms, names of possible forks. What you need to know is how to store your bitcoins safely, and in case of forks how to recover all the coins that will result from this.
Right now it seems we are looking to have one bitcoin that stays strong and no forks, but that is not 100% certain, there are many parties interested in splitting Bitcoin into branches and vowing to fight to be the top chain. Each wants his own Toy to play with as he pleases.
No matter what happens, if we end up with one strong bitcoin or 2 or 3 like ETH/ETC, you should make sure you get all these coins. Leaving your Bitcoins on an exchange will subject you to what that exchange deems as a valid forks, exchanges are not obliged to give you anything but what they approve as a valid chain, chains that might start trading on other exchanges could be completely ignored by your exchange.
So move your bitcoins to a wallet that will give you access to your private key. Move all your bitcoins to one address, with one private key.
I recommend using Electrum https://electrum.org/#download
once you create your wallet, save your seed and create a password, export the private key/s as shown here:
Since this is a wallet I have used often, it has 85 private keys. You should not have that many. You should save the file on a USB stick, do not save the file on your hard drive. It's also better to do this process while you computer is not online.
once you have the wallet private keys, and the seed. Save a copy of your public receive address in a text file on your desktop.
- As a safe measure, write down the seed on paper, this will allow you to restore the wallet and all the keys in case your USB stick is lost/damaged.
Now delete the Electrum wallet and associated files from your PC. Send your bitcoins to the public address you copied to your desktop.
Now your Bitcoins are safe. Hold on to them until all the drama of the forks is over, sometime in late august or maybe as late as the end of September.
This process will give you control of all the coins that might result from possible forks. The process to load your wallet and send the coins to exchanges for trading while avoiding possible replay attacks is the subject of another post.
I recommend doing a full scan of your computer for viruses/malware before attempting this. For this I use Kaspersky Total Security.
Your wallet seed is not related to your password, a seed will give access to all your keys without the need of a password.
A newer version of Electrum might be available now that's different from the screenshots shown, that does not change the validity of the seed or private keys, wallets are only tools to sign TX's with your private keys.
More to read?
The more you read about this the more you will get confused. Just save your bitcoins and wait for this to pass. Whether there will be forks or not you will be on top.