Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

Here’s a short walkthrough for people looking to extract the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) currency from a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano or Trezor device.

Also read: Markets Update: Bitcoin Continues to Orbit Above $3K

Extracting Bitcoin Cash from Hardware Wallets

Last week the Bitcoin blockchain split into two branches, of which one formed a new network called Bitcoin Cash (BCH). This means everyone who owned bitcoin before the fork, now owns the same amount of BCH tokens. Before the split, a lot of people kept their bitcoins on non-custodial clients like hardware wallets. At the moment many mobile wallets have not yet released tools to extract BCH. There are a few ways to split these types of wallets and walkthroughs online giving basic steps.    

Many individuals believed one of the safest methods to secure their cryptocurrency holdings during the hard fork was with a hardware wallet. Every major manufacturer assured customers both their BTC and BCH holdings would be perfectly secure. Now, before you begin make sure you have your seed phrase available and that you feel 100 percent comfortable with the entire splitting process. 

Ledger

Ledger Wallet released its coin splitting tool the day before the August 1 fork, which supports features like sending, receiving, and storing the BCH currency. In order to split bitcoins into BCH using a Ledger Nano S, users must download the latest firmware (1.3.1). When installing the firmware, users should understand that Ledger’s update will wipe the entire device and having your backup/seed phrase on hand is necessary.

Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

First, go to the Ledger Wallet interface and download the applications manager. This will allow you to install the latest firmware and add the BCH currency to your device. After clicking update firmware connect on your Nano S, enter your PIN, and make your way to the dashboard. In the application manager section, select “firmware” and begin the installation. After the Ledger firmware is complete, you can set the same pin or a new one and select “restore configuration” with the right button on the Nano. The device will then ask you to type your seed phrase and following this procedure you will have access to your bitcoins again and the ability to access the bitcoin cash wallet.

Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

Proceed to the application manager again and download all of the currencies you own including the Bitcoin Cash app. When opening the ‘Bitcoin Wallet’ from the Ledger Nano page, it will ask whether you want to access the BTC or BCH wallet. Users can choose to manage their BCH in the same account but can also split it to a separate BCH wallet so it’s not tethered to the main account.

Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

For maximum privacy, people believe the best method is selecting the ‘split’ option. If the ‘main’ option is chosen users don’t have to send their BCH to a separate address. Inside the bitcoin cash wallet select a receiving address and copy it to the clipboard. Next, you want to access the ‘settings’ tab, choose the ‘main’ tab and then the ‘bitcoin cash’ option. Proceed to the ‘send’ section and enter the BCH address you copied to your clipboard and send the BCH to the split address. Following this step take a walk, or keep busy for an hour or so until the transaction is confirmed on the BCH chain. The only complaint I had with Ledger is the sending and receiving tabs in the Bitcoin Cash wallet still say only ‘Bitcoin’ which can be confusing.

Trezor

Trezor released their BCH tool on August 1, but had some difficulties and relaunched on August 3. In order to access bitcoin cash with a Trezor device, users have to go to the company’s beta wallet. At the beta wallet’s start page, plug in your device and enter your pin and from there you will see a firmware update (1.5.1) available. Downloading new firmware for Trezor does not require a device wipe, but you should always have your seed phrase handy when updating any Trezor firmware.

Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

After the firmware is complete, you will then have access to the bitcoin cash wallet interface. Go to the wallets’ ‘receive’ section and copy a fresh address from the BCH wallet to your clipboard. If you didn’t split your coins with the tool yet, you would need to go to the tool page and “claim” your BCH. When you head over to the coin splitting tool page, you can then claim your BCH from the funds left on accounts before the fork. Paste the BCH address into the ‘send’ section (you can also use another BCH wallet or send the funds to an exchange) and send the coins to the address you copied.

Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

After this step, you will see your unconfirmed BCH transaction inside the wallet, and you will have to wait for your transaction to be confirmed in the next block. The only downside to the Trezor extraction is you must split or “claim” your coins separately.

Splitting Bitcoins: How to Claim Your Bitcoin Cash From a Hardware Wallet

As stated above, you don’t have to keep your BCH on the Ledger or Trezor device, and you can forward them to an exchange. Further, you can download a Bitcoin ABC, Classic, Unlimited, and the Electron Cash wallet to store your bitcoin cash as well. The extraction process using both the Trezor and Ledger hardware wallet is relatively simple but takes some time to complete. Moreover, other hardware wallets like Keepkey and Bitbox have also released extraction walkthroughs that offer similar splitting methods.

Trezor’s official BCH extraction guide can be found here, and Ledger’s walkthrough can be found here.  

Have you extracted your Bitcoin Cash from a hardware wallet yet? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Walkthrough editorials are intended for informational purposes only. There are multiple security risks and methods that are ultimately made through the decisions of the user. There are various steps mentioned in reviews and guides, and some of them are optional. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses, mistakes, skipped steps or security measures not taken, as the ultimate decision-making process to do any of these things is solely the reader’s responsibility. For good measure always cross-reference guides with other walkthroughs found online.


Images via Shutterstock, and Ledger Wallet and Trezor interfaces. 


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