August 1 2017 Bitcoin Hard Fork, found online at 1August.org, is an informational website dedicated to explaining the impact of bitcoin’s judgement day: August 1. Here’s what you need to know about the site.
What is August 1 2017 Bitcoin Hard Fork?
August 1 2017 Bitcoin Hard Fork is a complete guide to securing your bitcoin in the event of a fork. The name of the website comes from the infamous August 1 date. Some are calling August 1 “the end of bitcoin”. Others claim that it’s bitcoin’s “judgment day”. Whatever happens on August 1, it will mean a new future for bitcoin’s blockchain.
If you need help understanding what’s happening on August 1, and how to protect your bitcoins after that date, then 1August can help you.
1August.org isn’t picking sides in the debate, and it appears to be staying totally neutral in the conflict. It’s purely an informational website, and it doesn’t appear to have been created by any of the particular factions.
What’s the Big Deal with August 1?
For the last few years, the bitcoin community has debated how to handle the scaling of bitcoin. Currently, most blocks hit the 1MB blocksize limit of the bitcoin blockchain. That means higher fees, lower transaction throughput, and slow transactions. It’s making bitcoin an increasingly worse payment platform – and it’s not going to get better in the future without a major change.
There have been several attempts to solve bitcoin’s scaling issue. Unfortunately, at this point, there’s no clear victor. This has led to the formation of multiple factions. Members of these factions believe their solution is the best way forward for bitcoin, while believing opposing factions will lead to the ruin of bitcoin.
Why is the date August 1 significant? On August 1, 2017, one of those factions is scheduled to go live. That faction is the User Activated Soft Fork (UASF). Another faction has announced plans to create another fork the moment UASF goes live. If this happens, then the bitcoin chain will be split into two. It will “fork”.
It’s a big deal when cryptocurrencies fork. We’ll explain more below.
What Happens to your Bitcoins When a Cryptocurrency Forks?
When a cryptocurrency forks, it leads to duplication. Any transactions and coins that were present prior to the fork are valid on all subsequent chains.
It’s not exactly a doomsday scenario. And it’s not even the first time a major cryptocurrency has forked. The best-known example is when Ethereum and Ethereum Classic split.
How to Protect your Bitcoins
So what’s the best way to protect your bitcoins in the event of a fork? The best way to protect your bitcoins is to ensure they’re under your control.
Don’t store your bitcoins in an exchange like Bittrex, Coinbase, or Bitfinex. Don’t use an online wallet like Blockchain.info. Don’t use any online service to store your bitcoins. If your bitcoins are stored in an online wallet on August 1, then you’re forced to use your bitcoins on whatever fork that platform chooses to support.
So how do you completely control your bitcoin?
The best way is to be in complete control of your private keys. Your private keys allow you to perform bitcoin transactions. There are two easy ways to maintain control of your private keys:
Also known as hot wallets, these are software-based wallets that run on your computer or mobile phone and are capable of generating bitcoin addresses, creating transactions, and more. Most of these programs allow you to export your private key, and then export that key to another wallet. That means you can make bitcoin transactions without giving up any power over your coins. The main downside of these wallet apps is that your coins are stored on your device. That means you’re responsible for their security, and means they’re more susceptible to theft through malware, hackers, or physical theft.
Paper Wallets and Cold Storage
Paper wallets and cold storage solutions are the safest way to control your bitcoin. Even if there wasn’t an impending fork, you should still be storing your bitcoin in paper wallets and cold storage. These storage units are generated on a device with no internet access. Your print off the local key, then store it safely. The advantage is that it’s highly secure. The only way to access your bitcoin is to physically access the paper wallet. Another advantage is that it’s difficult to use or access your bitcoin. You first need to import the wallet into a wallet application connected to the bitcoin network, or manually create and sign transactions on an offline device before broadcasting the transaction from a connected device.
Due to the upcoming fork, popular hardware wallets like Trezor, Ledger, and KeepKey are out of stock. They’re difficult to find on Amazon and other retailers. Paper wallets may be your best option.
1August.org specifically recommends using Electrum and Mycelium has hot wallets (wallet apps). It’s unclear if 1August is connected to these wallets in any way, or if the site just recommends the wallets because they’re two of the most popular wallets.
Who Created 1August.org?
There’s no information about the creator(s) of 1August.org available through the official website. The “About” section simply says “Just trying to help”.
There’s also a QR code and wallet address posted on the site. Website visitors are encouraged to donate to help the website’s cause and reach more people.
WHOIS data tells us the website and domain were created on June 18, 2017.
August 1 2017 Bitcoin Hard Fork Conclusion
Ultimately, August 1 will be one of the most important dates in the history of bitcoin – no matter what happens. The best thing you can do is take control of your own local keys and prevent a third party from choosing a fork on your behalf. Visit 1August.org for more information.