Fork Watch: Japanese Exchanges to Suspend Services on Sunday

The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association has announced its plans in response to the BIP91 lock-in. Thirteen Japanese bitcoin exchanges are now prepared to halt bitcoin deposits and withdrawals earlier than the original date of August 1.

Also read: 13 Japanese Exchanges Agree to Suspend Bitcoin Service on August 1

Responding to BIP91 Lock-In

13 Japanese Exchanges Bitcoin Service Suspension July 23The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) on Friday announced its response to the lock-in of BIP91 which occurred on Thursday. The notice followed the association’s announcement on Tuesday regarding the suspension of bitcoin deposits and withdrawals at Japanese bitcoin exchanges on August 1.

The JCBA’s response applies to bitcoin exchanges which are members of the association. They are Bitbank, Bitpoint Japan, Quoine, Fisco, Coincheck, Btc Box, Tech Bureau (Zaif Exchange), Gmo-Z.com Coin, Campfire Corporation, Bit Trade, Bitcrements Bitcoin Exchange, Tokyo Bitcoin, and Minnano Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Service Suspension Moved to July 23

The 13 exchanges originally planned to suspend bitcoin services on August 1, when the Bitcoin network split was expected. However, the association has moved the suspension date ahead of schedule because “there is a growing possibility that it [Bitcoin fork] will be introduced on July 23,” Nikkei reported the association saying. “Because we can not read the impact on the transactions, we will stop the transactions ahead of schedule.” The publication added:

The virtual currency exchanges that have joined the association will stop all deposits and withdrawals of bitcoins on the 23rd.

13 Japanese Exchanges Bitcoin Service Suspension July 23The association states that “the date and time shall be determined by each member’s judgment.” Some bitcoin exchange members have already announced their plans independently.

Coincheck, for example, announced on Friday that it may suspend bitcoin services on July 23 at 12:00 AM Japan time. The suspension affects bitcoin deposits and withdrawals as well as Coincheck payments service. “On July 23, 2017, the event of a fork of the Bitcoin protocol may happen. Initially, it was intended to happen on August 1st, but it may happen faster than anticipated,” the exchange wrote, adding that:

The resume date is unspecified, but we expect to resume our services within several hours to several days only when we know that users’ assets are safe for sure.

Other exchanges including Bitpoint, Bit Trade, Fisco, Zaif, and Gmo-Z Coin have also announced that they will suspend bitcoin services on July 23, if they believe that a fork may occur. None of them have posted a date of when their services will resume. “If we judge that accepting and withdrawing bitcoins is no longer a problem, we will promptly notify you,” Gmo-Z Coin wrote.

Update: Some exchanges have confirmed their bitcoin service suspension.

  • Bitbank has suspended its bitcoin services.
  • Bitpoint has suspended its bitcoin services starting at 13:45 Japan time on July 23. “We are planning to restart the services on Tuesday, July 25 (Tue) at 16 o’clock.”
  • Coincheck has suspended its bitcoin services starting at 13:00 Japan time on July 23.
  • Zaif Exchange has suspended its bitcoin services.

What do you think will happen on July 23? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.