Satoshi Labs, the makers of the hardware wallet Trezor, made a statement today about the upcoming Bitcoin Gold fork. According to Satoshi Labs’ blog, users with Bitcoins stored on their device will be credited with the appropriate amount of Bitcoin Gold. However, the Trezor software will not support Bitcoin Gold, and users will not be able to send or receive the new currency.
What about Bitcoin Gold?
Satoshi Labs pointed out, as Cointelegraph also has, that Bitcoin Gold is not actually Bitcoin. Rather:
In other words, Bitcoin Gold is an altcoin, using Bitcoin’s history similarly to the case of Bitcoin Cash.
Trezor’s wallet software will not support Bitcoin Gold, because:
Bitcoin Gold’s codebase is, at the moment of the writing, incomplete. Most importantly, it lacks replay protection. For this reason, TREZOR Wallet will not support Bitcoin Gold yet, as it would endanger your bitcoins.
Replay protection is vital with any forked currency. Satoshi Lab’s blog continues:
Replay protection prevents a transaction on the Bitcoin Gold chain from being re-transmitted on the Bitcoin chain and vice versa. As Bitcoin Gold is a fork of Bitcoin, the transaction format, the signatures, etc. are the same. A transaction on one chain could be copied to the other chain and will be valid, possibly leading to unintended loss of coins.
But I need them now!
If for any reason you need to send Bitcoin Gold from any of your Trezor addresses, you may do so by importing your seed into a third-party wallet. However, there are extreme consequences, according to the announcement:
Without replay protection, if you send your Bitcoin Gold, you will also send your Bitcoins away, leading to a loss of coins.
If you import your seed into a malicious wallet, the attacker can access ALL your coins, incl. other altcoins, saved under your seed.
By importing your seed into any third-party wallet, you are compromising the security of your seed and thus your TREZOR.
Similar to Bittrex’ stance
Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Bittrex was taking a similar stand on the upcoming fork. The exchange will take a snapshot and preserve users’ Bitcoin Gold, but will not immediately support trading of the currency.
According to the full statement made by the exchange:
Bitcoin Gold does not currently have:
Fully formed consensus code
Implemented replay protection
Adequate code for testing and auditing
Publicly known code developers
Bitcoin Gold codebase also contains a private premine of 8,000 blocks (100,000 BTG). Please be aware that if a market does open there is a possibility of the developers selling their premined BTG on the open market.
Because of the issues pointed out by both Bittrex and Satoshi Labs, it’s likely that most other exchanges, web wallets, and the like will adopt similar policies with respect to their handling of Bitcoin Gold. Everybody wants users to receive the forked coins that are rightfully theirs, but nobody wants to risk users’ losing the much more valuable Bitcoins that are attached to the same address.
It remains to be seen whether Bitcoin Gold will implement replay protection. Since the codebase is not yet complete, the currency is not expected to officially launch for some time. The date everybody has been talking about, Oct. 25, is not actually the date the Bitcoin Gold network will come online. Rather, that’s the point where the two networks will diverge once the software is finally released.