OKEx, the Hong-Kong based derivatives exchange from the team behind Chinese Bitcoin trading giant OKCoin, has just announced how it is preparing to handle the risks associated with the potential fork of the bitcoin blockchain.
This comes after Coinbase notifying its institutional clients last week that in the case of a fork it may temporarily suspend the deposit and withdrawal of bitcoins on GDAX and may pause the trading of bitcoins on the platform as well.
OKEx explains that during the potential fork (from 2017-07-31 to 2017-08-02) it will suspend bitcoin deposits and withdrawals due to potential technical risks such as replay attacks and other issues that may cause network instability. If there is no fork, and the network is stable, deposits and withdrawals will resume.
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If bitcoin is split into several blockchains, OKEx will give users their ownership for every blockchain. In addition, OKEx will take steps to support trading for every type of bitcoin. On OKEx contracts trading, for existing undelivered maturities, the calculation of the Index price will be the sum price of all bitcoin types of the respective exchanges should they support them. After delivery, new OKEx contracts will be tied to a particular version of Bitcoin, and OKEx will take steps to support contract trading for all types of bitcoin. For undelivered maturities, post the splitting of bitcoin, when adding margin funds, all types of bitcoin will be required.
It warns that if unexpected events occur during the potential fork period, OKEx may also temporarily suspend bitcoin trading. If someone is deemed to have maliciously manipulated the market during this period, OKEx may take measures including the suspension and rollback of trades.
Competing forms of Bitcoin
Interestingly, in its announcement today OKEx wrote: “We believe that the fight for the future of Bitcoin have been based on technical ideas, not on conspiracy theories, or politics amongst various companies and organizations. “We believe in the years ahead, after a long period of market competition, one or several versions of Bitcoin will be widely adopted. Our stance is that OKEx will support all competing forms of Bitcoin, and grant each option to our customers and the market.”
However, when OKCoin recently added Ethereum trading, it warned that bitcoin might fail altogether.