So as of August the first, the powers that be are expected to cause a fork in the Bitcoin block chain. This is good news for some, and terrible news for others, for reasons I shall avoid hypothesising over.
I’m pretty sure you all know what a block chain fork amounts to, so this blog post is meant as a layman’s survival guide.
We know what is happening with the Bitcoin network, and some of us are aware of the implications that could occur as a direct result of forking the Bitcoin block chain.
Many many exchanges and web wallet providers have released statements regarding their intentions over a potential chain split. These statements are not very promising for the less informed Bitcoin user. They are mostly saying they will not support any minority chains, and if you wish to claim your minority chain coins, that you must withdraw your Bitcoin funds to your own personal wallet where you hold your private key.
We are now in the final hours before a purported imminent chain split, and your Bitcoins will entitle you to minority chain coins. So first things first, withdraw your Bitcoin funds to your own personal wallet where you hold the private keys. I recommend you to use either multibit or electrum as these do not need to download the entire 140GB of block chain history. Although a complete block chain should make things easier to deal with.
If you already have a full node as in Bitcoin core, then you need to make a backup of your block chain TODAY. To do this in windows you will need to close down Bitcoin core software. Then navigate to C:\users\<youruser>\appdata\bitcoin this is where your block chain files are stored along with your wallet.dat file. Simply make a copy of the contents in this file, to an alternative location. This will then give you a pre fork chain backup that you can use with Bitcoin ABC wallet software.
From what I can gather, in order to claim and move any alternative chain coins, you will need Bitcoin ABC or another variation of minority chain node software. I understand there are some people offering minority chain coin extraction for a fee. I would not advise utilising these services as it will mean that you can never use the related wallet addresses ever again, but it is your money and your choice at the end of the day.
Hopefully this has been informative, and will persuade you to claim your alternative chain coins. If you need any links please feel free to request them in the comments.