The 5 W’s of the Bitcoin Hard Fork

Change could be coming to the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency. With voices heard from all sides of the Bitcoin community, causing more confusion than giving answers, we decided to take action and give you the relevant information in a clear and straightforward manner.

What is the Bitcoin Hard Fork?

Think of a hard fork as a software update for Bitcoin. It introduces a new rule that isn’t compatible with the previous software which is used to create, hold and manage Bitcoin. Basically, the nodes that are running the current version of the Bitcoin blockchain will not be compatible with the version that will be created after the fork – and will regard new transactions as invalid.

And so, the only way to operate the Bitcoin chain after the fork is to create entirely new nodes and mining protocols – all in all, a new coin, with a new set of rules and a new name.

Who will be affected?

Generally speaking – all exchanges holding Bitcoins, people with Bitcoins in their e-wallets and businesses offering Bitcoin payments.

On eToro, traders holding a position on Bitcoin, in either market direction.

When will it happen?

It might have already happened while you were reading the last paragraph, or we might have to wait until England wins the World Cup. No official date has yet been released.

Since Bitcoin is not a standard currency, monitored by banks and governments, no one today can give an accurate answer regarding the date of the hard fork.

Why should I care?

Because a responsible trader keeps a contingency plan for any scenario, and in this case – the scenarios are countless. If you’re holding Bitcoin in your portfolio, you need to know that we as a company are preparing to take precautionary measures to safeguard your investment. It might mean that we will limit your (and our) risk by one or more of the actions that were elaborated in the related email you received from us. In case you did not receive the Bitcoin Hard Fork email, please contact your account manager or CS representative. As the possible scenarios for the fork are numerous, we are pulling every resource to prepare for all likely scenarios, we advise you do the same.

Where can I stay updated on the latest news?

There are several media channels that could offer answers – but beware, when it comes to Bitcoin not all news stories are accurate and reliable.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Popular Investors trading Bitcoin – such as Jaynemesis and LiamDavies might be able to share relevant information.
  2. eToro blog and emails – we are constantly monitoring the news, and will update as soon as immediate action is to be taken.
  3. Bitcoin and Ethereum newsfeeds – Our vibrant community of crypto-traders share their knowledge on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. Learn how others are preparing for the fork and apply their wisdom to your investment strategy.

For any further information and assistance, feel free to contact your account manager or our customer support.


Cryptocurrencies can fluctuate widely in prices and are therefore not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.