[Update: Infrastructure maintenance complete. All systems back to normal operations.]
We will be undertaking infrastructure maintenance on October 31, 2017 sometime between 11:50 AM UTC and 5:30 PM UTC. These updates are critical for the platform and must be performed. Unfortunately, we cannot give an exact time for the maintenance other than those broad parameters.
Customers should expect a service interruption of approximately 20 minutes while this maintenance is being performed. During that period, the trading and financing platforms might be unavailable and no deposits or withdrawals will be processed.
Thank you, The Bitfinex Team
Bitfinex is introducing new Chain Split Tokens (CSTs) that will allow traders to trade on the the potential activation and mining of the Bitcoin Gold consensus protocol. We are designating these CSTs as BG1 (Incumbent Bitcoin Blockchain) and BG2 (Bitcoin Gold).
These CSTs will trade against BTC and USD pairs, initially without financing capabilities. Users will be able to create or destroy these new CSTs in any amount using the Token Manager located in the Order Type drop down menu of the sidebar order ticket, or in the menu at the top of the UI. Upon creation by a user, the BTC will be debited from the user’s account, and an equivalent amount of BG1 and BG2 will be credited. Users will also be able to reverse this process at any time, trading in equal numbers of BG1 and BG2 to extract BTC. Please refer to the Bitcoin Gold CST Terms and Conditions for more information.
These CSTs will provide pricing continuity through the Snapshot Event and, in particular, the order books for the BG2 trading pairs will become the order books for the Bitcoin Gold trading pairs. Bitcoin Gold will use “BTG” as its ticker symbol and carry a description of “Bgold” on the platform to avoid any confusion with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Gold and Financed Positions
With respect to the Bitcoin Gold CSTs, we will be following the general methodology outlined in our recent Statement Regarding Upcoming Segwit2x Hard Fork. Specifically, and subject to our terms and conditions, when the designated block is mined (491406), we will take a snapshot of all relevant balances and positions. Lenders will receive both BTC and BTG. Any user that is short BTC/USD or long any BTC trading pair (ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, etc.) will owe BTG to the financing counterparty, effectively making the user short BTG. An exception is being made where BTC is borrowed but is not in use as financing collateral. In that case, BTG will accrue to the lender. Users that are financed long BTC/USD or short any BTC trading pair will receive BTG. We will only be assigning BTG to balances greater than or equal to 0.01 BTC.
It’s important for financing recipients to understand that while their P&Ls may climb during a hard fork event, they will have offsetting BTG liabilities that will be applied to their accounts, though perhaps not immediately. At the moment that the snapshot block is mined, we will immediately freeze all movements for all currencies for any borrower of BTC. Deposits and withdrawals for BTC will be briefly halted around the Snapshot Event.
This freeze will last until the BTG accounting can be adequately prepared and addressed. We expect the process to be quick and automated, but we cannot guarantee that it will be immediate. BTC borrowers can hedge or estimate this liability with newly listed CSTs.
Trading and Withdrawals
We will support the BTG/USD and BTG/BTC trading pairs until such time that withdrawals become safe and possible on the BTG blockchain. Anyone with a negative balance resulting from being a BTC borrower at the time of the fork will need to buy back into BTG within 3 days or risk having the system do it for them. Once all negative balances have been settled, we may, at our sole and absolute discretion, delist BTG and make withdrawals only available for a limited time. While we want to make such forks available to our customers, our limited and temporary support for them is not and should not be construed as support for any particular project.
Adjusting Existing CSTs
CSTs with overlapping contract periods and other forking events may need to be adjusted to reflect the correct economics. We are aware the the BCC/BCU CSTs need retroactive adjustments to reflect BCH, as well as BTG, after the event tomorrow. Similarly, BT1/BT2 may need to be adjusted to reflect any BTG that accrues to the locked up BTC. We have a plan for this and may not be able to implement it immediately, but it is fair to our users and will be applied retroactively in a non-intrusive way. More details will follow on this next week.
Eidoo is a revolutionary, multi-currency wallet that supports Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. Shortly, Eidoo will launch a hybrid exchange, an integrated Bitcoin wallet, a branded debit card and several other innovative services. The team's vision will culminate in a single mobile app, through which you can buy, sell, convert and spend your digital currencies.
Margin trading for these pairs will be enabled gradually, once the order book develops sufficient liquidity.
We will be undertaking infrastructure maintenance on October 19, 2017 sometime between 11:50 AM UTC and 5:30 PM UTC. These updates are critical for the platform and must be performed. Unfortunately, we cannot give an exact time for the maintenance other than those broad parameters.
Customers should expect a service interruption of about five minutes’ duration while this maintenance is being performed. During that period, the trading and financing platforms will be unavailable and no deposits or withdrawals will be processed.
Thank you, The Bitfinex Team
This message is further to our announcement of August 11, 2017, with respect to terminating our business with U.S. individual customers. As indicated in the announcement, we are terminating trading, deposits, and withdrawal functionality for U.S. individual customers by no later than November 9, 2017. U.S. customers are already barred from receiving financing from other users on Bitfinex’s peer-to-peer financing platform. This restriction will remain and, in addition, U.S. individual customers will no longer be able to provide financing on Bitfinex effective November 9, 2017.
All U.S. individual users must make arrangements to withdraw their Digital Tokens by November 9th.
On Tuesday, October 24th, Bitfinex will be making adjustments to the minimum order size for several trading pairs.
Beginning on the 24th, the minimum order size for each trading pair will be automatically adjusted on a weekly basis to maintain minimum order sizes that are reasonably proportioned to their values. The goal is to keep the minimum order size between $10 and $25 USD equivalent value while limiting the changes to the minimum order sizes to useful incremental values.
At this initial adjustment, some pairs will have their minimum order size adjusted downward (for example, BTC/USD will likely be adjusted from 0.005 to ~0.004) - while others will see a significant increase in minimum order size (for example, IOTA/USD will be adjusted from 0.1 to ~10.0). This will ensure that all trading pairs maintain minimum order sizes that are closer in relative value.
Qtum (QTUM) exchange trading has now begun on Bitfinex and is available against the pairs USD, BTC & ETH. Margin trading for these pairs will be enabled gradually, as the order book develops sufficient liquidity.
Qtum is the first smart contact platform to fully utilize proof-of-stake consensus. By building on top of the UTXO model, Qtum adds its own "Account Abstraction Layer," allowing the UTXO-based blockchain to seamlessly interact with the Virtual Machine (VM). Qtum currently supports EVM, but will support multiple Virtual Machines in the future, including our x86 VM (in development).
Qtum provides endless possibilities for smart contracts and gives smart contact designers the stability and maturity of the bitcoin ecosystem. Qtum is the first blockchain to utilize a truly decentralized governance protocol (DGP), which uses smart contract technology to update blockchain parameters in a manner which is self-regulating, self-modifying, and self-aware. There are 17 Dapps are building on Qtum now (prediction market, IOT, healthcare and more).
The Qtum project has an incredibly active community all over the world, with more developers and projects signing on every week, and we are excited to support its future development.
Aventus (AVT) exchange trading has now begun on Bitfinex, available against the pairs USD, BTC & ETH. Margin trading for these pairs will be enabled gradually, as the order book develops sufficient liquidity.
Aventus is a London-based technology startup, using cutting-edge blockchain technology, combined with valuable industry expertise, to bring a change to the event ticketing market.
Their proprietary blockchain-based protocol plugs into existing ticketing applications and websites, reducing costs by up to 90%. Aventus allows ticket sellers to control resale prices and derive revenue from the £8bn secondary market through giving full control over a tickets life-cycle with a much greater level of oversight and associated data.
The Aventus Protocol Foundation recently raised $20M in a public token sale, which closed in 7 minutes.
As the Bitcoin ecosystem approaches what appears to be an impending hard fork, it is important to clearly state Bitfinex’s policies on hard forks.
First, we want to make it clear that Bitfinex does not intend to advocate for or against any particular hard fork. Miners have the prerogative to commit their hashing power to whatever projects they choose, including alternative and incompatible protocol implementations. However, our first obligation is to our customers, who often demand tokens on each chain in the event of a hard fork that lacks clear community consensus. At this time, we do not believe that there is sufficient consensus to identify a clear winner in the Segwit2x hard fork. Accordingly, our customers will have access to tokens on both chains.
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.
As the proposed consensus protocol Segwit2x project appears likely to activate, we have elected to designate the Segwit2x fork as B2X, for now. The incumbent implementation (based on the existing Bitcoin consensus protocol) will continue to trade as BTC even if the B2X chain has more hashing power.
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.
The lack of strong two-way replay protection in Segwit2x means that we must take steps to protect customer funds. At the moment of the fork, all deposits and withdrawals for both BTC and B2X will be halted until we are able to: 1. ‘taint’ our customers’ bitcoins to ensure withdrawals cannot be replayed on both chains; and, 2. ensure that we can properly credit deposits in the event a transaction is replayed on both chains. We expect this process to require at least 24 hours, and potentially significantly longer. If the the event happens, announcements will be made throughout the process to keep everyone up to date.
In the event of a hard fork that results in a chain split, Bitfinex is also faced with the challenge of resolving peer-to-peer financing issues. Because we have sufficient time to plan for this event we have elected to handle the accounting of peer-to-peer financed trading similar to how stock spinoffs, dividends, and distributions are handled in equity markets.
Specifically, in the case of a hard fork event, lenders will receive both BTC and B2X. Anyone that is short BTC/USD or long any BTC trading pair (ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, etc.) will owe B2X to the lender, effectively making the user short B2X. An exception is being made where BTC is borrowed but is not in use as financing collateral. In that case, B2X will accrue to the lender. Users that are financed long BTC/USD or short any BTC trading pair will receive B2X.
This methodology is complex and operationally challenging, but we believe it to be, in this case, the most economically correct and fair approach for Bitfinex and our customers. Furthermore, we believe it is the only approach that will keep the BTC lending market functioning throughout a hard fork event.
Imagine a situation where lenders do not receive B2X. They would be incentivised to stop lending if a hard fork appears imminent. Consequently, lending liquidity could completely disappear, and Bitfinex would be obliged to begin partial liquidations of financed positions when BTC loans expire and cannot be renewed.
We believe that such a hypothetical outcome should be avoided. Our plan should prevent the negative consequences of this scenario and seems likely to allow the funding market to continue to operate.
It’s important for borrowers to understand that while their P&Ls may climb during a hard fork event, they will have offsetting B2X liabilities that will be applied to their accounts, though perhaps not immediately. At the moment that Bitfinex detects a B2X block that is incompatible with the existing Incumbent Bitcoin blockchain, we will immediately halt processing of any and all BTC deposits and withdrawals for all users, and freeze all movements for all currencies for any borrower of BTC.
This freeze will last until the B2X accounting can be adequately prepared and addressed. We expect the process to be quick and automated, but we cannot guarantee that it will be immediate. BTC borrowers can hedge or estimate this liability with newly listed Chain Split Token (CSTs). Depending on CST price discovery, we may also increase margin requirements as the Chain Split Event approaches. This should help users protect themselves from liquidations that might occur during potential large swings in the combined value of BTC and B2X in the aftermath of the Chain Split Event. Please note that the order book for the BT2 CST will become the order book for B2X after the fork, providing price continuity and avoiding temporary, but potentially large, swings in overall account equity.
More details on the specific procedures will be forthcoming, but we feel that it is important to address the economic implications as soon as possible, so that our customers can plan accordingly. Bitfinex staff will be available on Whalepool Teamspeak and Bitcoin Mumble servers from time to time to answer customer questions. We will also be building a FAQ document to clarify edge cases and other nuances as needed.
In March 2017, Bitfinex introduced an innovative new token class called a Chain Split Token (CST). CSTs allow market participants to speculate on the future outcome of a potential cryptocurrency protocol change. In March, that potential forking event concerned Bitcoin Unlimited.
Now, we are launching a new pair of CSTs for another proposed consensus change: Segwit2x
Bitfinex is introducing new CSTs that will allow traders to speculate on the potential activation and mining of the Segwit2x consensus protocol. We are designating these CSTs as BT1 (Incumbent Bitcoin Blockchain) and BT2 (Bitcoin Segwit2x).
These CSTs will trade against BTC and USD pairs, initially, without financing capabilities. We will reevaluate that decision at a later date if and as there is sufficient liquidity.
Users will be able to create or destroy these new CSTs in any amount using the Token Manager located in the Order Type drop down menu of the sidebar order ticket. Upon creation, the BTC will be debited from your account and an equivalent amount of BT1 and BT2 will be credited. Users will also be able to reverse this process at any time, trading in equal numbers of BT1 and BT2 to extract BTC. Please refer to the Segwit2x CST Terms & Conditions for more information.
One of the interesting characteristics of open-source projects is that developers are free to split the code into new projects if they want to take a project in a new direction. In open-source terms, this is called forking the project.
Bitcoin is an open-source project, and there is a scheduled change in the consensus protocol called Segwit2x, the specifications for which can be found in the Github repository https://github.com/btc1/bitcoin.
Because the value of a network grows exponentially as the size of the network grows, it is advantageous to have only one version of Bitcoin. For this reason, in the future, the dominant Bitcoin implementation will likely converge on either Segwit2x or remain on the incumbent version that uses the consensus protocol defined on the Github repository https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.
At this time, the Bitcoin ecosystem, through node and miner signalling, is trying to decide which protocol consensus rules it wants to support. This has introduced uncertainty and speculation about the value of each respective blockchain and the future of the Bitcoin network. This uncertainty affects many of our users who trading using financing. CSTs will provide a pricing continuity through the Chain Split Event and, in particular, the order books for the BT2 trading pairs will become the order books for the B2X pairs.
We have reached out to consult, share ideas, and elicit feedback on this process. We welcome more and continued discussion and debate so that we can improve on these kinds of product offerings in the future.
We hope that this innovation brings some much-needed price discovery for the future of the Bitcoin ecosystem.