1st August 2017 became a memorable day in the history of Bitcoin.
Anyone who was holding Bitcoin before 1st August got a chance to enjoy free money in the form of BCH (Bitcoin Cash). You can read about Bitcoin Cash here.
Users who are using a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S, Ledger Blue, Trezor, or another wallet where you control your Bitcoin private key can also get access to BCH for free. You can either HODL the new split currency from the main Bitcoin chain or you can sell it off on one of the exchanges.
If you were holding Bitcoin on an exchange that is not offering BCH after the chain split on 1st August, you are out of luck. If you did not follow our advice, this historic event is a good reminder for you to control your private keys and don’t put your faith in Bitcoin exchanges.
Many popular exchanges like Coinbase are not offering BCH for BTC holders due to regulatory issues. Many other popular exchanges from India such as CoinSecure and Unocoin don’t offer or support BCH.
A few important things to know:
- You can also claim BCH in the near future by using your private key as long as you had Bitcoin stored on your corresponding wallet as of 1st August 2017.
- You can also use your seed word (recovery phrase) to recover BCH as your recovery phrase holds your BTC private key and thus the BCH private key. However, there is no tested and secure wallet for this.
- If you store your Bitcoin on a paper wallet, make sure to work in a super secure environment for recovering.
- If you don’t want to sell your BCH or want to hold BCH for the long term, you don’t need to do anything. However, if you are someone who keeps changing wallets or doesn’t remember things, it’s better to claim it now. (Out of sight is out of mind.)
- Don’t use your private key on splitting tools or 3rd party wallets unless you are 100% sure about it. Your private key is the most important thing that ensures the safety of your Bitcoin and your Bitcoin Cash.
Now, since you and I are on the same page, let’s look at how to split existing Bitcoin into BCH.
In this tutorial, I’m sharing how you can get access to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for free on the Ledger Nano S.
Note: I have mentioned the Ledger Nano S a lot of times in the past as this is the most secure wallet for Bitcoin out there. The reason I like the Ledger Nano S is because it keeps your Bitcoin super secure, and even if you are not a technical person, you don’t need to worry about using it. Another reason to start using the Ledger Nano S is that it supports other cryptocurrencies like Dash, ETH, ETC, Ripple, DogeCoin, Komodo, Stratis, and Zcash. A good place to start learning about the Ledger Nano S is here.
Claiming BCH on Ledger Nano S:
- Don’t do anything and simply claim BCH in the future.
- Access BCH by switching the blockchain and spending directly from the Bitcoin wallet since BCH has implemented replay protection. This means you shouldn’t be able to accidentally spend your BTC when you mean to spend BCH, or vice versa.
- Install the BCH wallet on Ledger Nano S. Split BCH from BTC and transfer it to the BCH wallet on Ledger Nano S.
Personally, I find option 3rd to be the best as it will take a few minutes and then you don’t need to worry about anything in the future.
So are you ready?
A few things you need to do:
- Ledger Nano/Blue users need to update the firmware version to 1.3.1. Watch this tutorial
- Nano and HW.1 owners: You’ll need to install the 1.0.2 firmware update bundled with the updated “Ledger Bitcoin Wallet” Chrome application (you must have your mnemonic phrase available).
Now, follow the steps mentioned:
- Connect your Ledger Nano or Ledger Blue to your computer.
- Open the Ledger Manager app (Talked about this here).
- Update the firmware of Ledger if it’s below version 1.3.1.
- Install the Bitcoin Cash app on Ledger. If asked, confirm the installation on the device.
- Now open the “Ledger Wallet Bitcoin”.
- Click on Settings at the top bar and do notice the current chain status (see screenshot for better understanding).
- Clicking on settings will bring up a screen like this where you need to click on Blockchains.
- This will give you the option to select the blockchain you want to work on.
- Click on Bitcoin Cash, and on the next screen select Split.
- This will bring a screen like this:
- Now, what we are doing here is copying the receiving address of your Bitcoin Cash wallet and we will transfer BCH from the main wallet to the split wallet. This will ensure the safety of your BCH tokens if in the future the developers decide to disable replay protection.
- Click on Receive and note down the BCH receiving address.
- Now click on Settings and go to the “Bitcoin Cash main chain”.
- Ensure that at the top it says Bitcoin Cash main chain.
- Now transfer all the funds to your BCH wallet address that you got in the earlier step.
- Now transfer all BCH funds from the main chain to the split chain and enjoy your free money.
Update: If you get an error saying “cannot validate transaction”, you should switch from the Bitcoin app to the BCH app on the Ledger wallet. From here you should be able to make the transaction.
Here is the official blog post from the Ledger team on the Bitcoin fork and getting your free BCH tokens.
It will be interesting to see how the future unfolds for BCH and how this split will impact Bitcoin’s price. For now, let me know what are you planning to do with your Bitcoin cash token. Are you going to HODL or are you planning to sell it? Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this tutorial, do share it with your friends on Twitter & Reddit!
Here are a few hand-picked articles to read next:
- Best Bitcoin Cash Wallets (BCH): Free Money For Every Bitcoiner! WooHoo!
- Where To Sell Bitcoin Cash (BCH) [Full list of Best BCH exchanges]
- What Is Cold Storage In Cryptocurrency?
- Bitcoin Wallet: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know