Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has signaled its intent to provide support for both bitcoin blockchains following the SegWit2x hard fork in November. The exchange will continue to list the incumbent blockchain as “Bitcoin” under the ticker symbol “BTC” and will list the SegWit2x blockchain as “B2X”.
Bitfinex made the announcement in a statement on the exchange website on Friday, stressing that it does not “intend to advocate for or against any particular hard fork” and made the decision to list the incumbent blockchain as BTC and the new one as B2X due to operational concerns.
From the statement:
“We have a responsibility to foster, maintain, and support orderly markets that trade continuously 24/7/365. With a hard fork that lacks clear community consensus, we cannot suspend operations and wait for a winner to emerge. Leveraged trading requires that our markets operate continuously. On operational requirements alone, we must designate such forks as new assets.”
Significantly, Bitfinex added that this designation would not depend on hashing power, so the original blockchain will continue to be listed as “Bitcoin” even if the B2X chain attracts more initial support from miners. However, the exchange may alter these labels in the future if “market forces suggest…a more appropriate” labeling scheme:
“We are doing this for practical and operational reasons. Political considerations are irrelevant here. While we cannot change or re-assign ticker symbols, we can change the label or description associated with that ticker symbol. For the time being, BTC will continue to be labeled as “Bitcoin,” and B2X will be labeled as “B2X.” This will remain the case unless and until such time that market forces suggest an alternative, more appropriate, labeling scheme for one or both chains.”
To help maintain pricing stability after the fork, Bitfinex has created chain split tokens that enable traders to bet on the future value of the coins on each blockchain. Traders can deposit BTC and receive an equivalent amount of both BT1 (incumbent blockchain) and BT2 (SegWit2x blockchain). Following the fork, Bitfinex will convert the tokens into BTC and B2X. At present, BT1 is trading at $3,476, while BT2 is priced at $1,173.
Bitcoin exchange Coinbase has also announced it will support both blockchains following the fork. However, Coinbase — a SegWit2x supporter — has not revealed what labels and tickers it will apply to each chain.
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