What is a Bitcoin Fork?
Forks are one of the parts of the world of cryptocurrency that is simple to understand, but usually explained in difficult terms. All you need to know is that a fork is when a single network becomes two networks. The first time this happened was on August 1st, 2017. This is the day when Bitcoin, forked and created the Bitcoin Cash network. A fork occurs because a large enough group of people decide that the network should be run a different way. The second time this happened was on November 15, 2018 when Bitcoin SV forked off of Bitcoin Cash. Here’s a simple diagram of the forks so you can more clearly understand the concept.
As you can see, both Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV have the same history of the fork they originated from, up until the time of the fork. After the time of the fork, each network becomes its own distinct blockchain. At present date, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV are all unique networks. Although they share a similar history, they are no longer part of the same network.
Do You Have Bitcoin SV?
You own Bitcoin SV if you had Bitcoin Cash on November 15, 2018. It’s that simple. In order to determine where your BSV is, you need to go back in your records. Try to remember any and all locations that you were holding BCH. It is worth checking each and every wallet, and exchange where you were holding BCH. If you’ve stored your BCH in a non-custodial wallet, then you have an equal amount of BSV located at the same address on the BSV network. You can import your BCH private keys into a BSV wallet to claim your BSV.
If you were holding onto BCH on an exchange, then whether or not you have BSV depends on whether or not the exchange credited BSV to your account. Since exchanges are custodial wallets, they control the keys. The exchange would have to credit each and every wallet with an equal amount of BSV in order to give their customers the ability to access their BSV. Most exchanges supported BSV initially, allowing users to claim their BSV. However, after some time, a number of exchanges have opted to discontinue support for BSV. Binance is one such exchange that has disabled trading, and deposits for BSV.
Have you Claimed Any of the Forks?
If you are one of those people who bought Bitcoin before August 1 2017, but haven’t touched it since, then you own both BCH, and BSV. Lets just say that you own 1 BTC. Then as of the time of writing you have 1 BCH ($227.87), and 1 BSV ($164.70). A number of wallets will do the claiming for you. This is the easiest option if you’re new to cryptocurrency. There are ways to do this manually, but it requires a pretty in depth knowledge of private keys and custom wallets. For the average user, we recommend importing your 12 word phrase into Exodus, or Atomic. These wallets are designed for the beginner user. They drastically simplify the process of claiming your BSV and BCH. They even have a built in exchange so that you can trade your BCH and BSV for other crypto currencies, if that is what you choose to do.
Are there Many Other Bitcoin Forks?
Yes, in fact there are dozens. There is a site that is dedicated to tracking each and every Bitcoin fork. If you own Bitcoin in 2015, then chances are that you own Bitcoin on all of the available forks. That being said, you will probably spend a lot of time retrieving your funds for some of the more obscure forks. Some of the projects are difficult to use, and are outright dangerous. It is extremely important that you don’t insert your private keys into a wallet that you do not trust. Claiming some obscure bitcoin forks might just end up being a lot more trouble than it is worth. In general, the three most popular forms of Bitcoin are Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV). The rest have either died, or are in bitcoin limbo without a dedicated developer team or formal leadership to guide the project.