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Having read about the the fight of Core vs Classic and the potential of a fork happening. I have a few questions concerning what would happen when a fork happens. I feel its inevitable a fork will occur. Currently our coins reside on just one chain the Bitcoin core chain at the moment. If a fork were to happen and Classic takes over, my coins prior to the fork will reside on both chains. But if a fork happens now I must decide on which chain to buy my coins on. Is this correct?

It's safe to assume that when the fork happens there will still be a certain amount of nodes clinging to the less popular chain creating an extra Bitcoin blockchain. At first the coins on this less popular network will plumment in price, but it will stabilize at a much lower price compared to the main chain. Now the users pre-fork will have 2 separate accounts containing the same amount of coins. Is this correct?

Now my question is, would it be wise to buy your coins before the fork? Then sell the less popular forked coins when it happens? Or is there another scenario that might play out that I haven't factored in yet?

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Buying advice is not appropriate for this website.

Actually the fork has become quite UNlikely. It was only a loud and ignorant minority threatening one. This has been cleared up and re-established at the round table talks: https://medium.com/@bitcoinroundtable/bitcoin-roundtable-consensus-266d475a61ff#.paosf94p3

Judging by the spike in price after that news, I guess that has been factored in now.

In case a fork does happen, it's quite likely that both sides lose value, at least initially. Nobody likes uncertainty, infighting and chaos. So even if you sell off one side of the fork, the other side will also have dropped in value.

Note that IF you want to play such a game, you MUST make sure that you actually own the Bitcoins, which means they are in your own wallet and you have the private keys. If you leave the coins on an exchange when the fork happens, you are totally dependent on them not stealing/losing one side. And even when you do own the coins yourself, you still have to do some trickery to untangle both halves.

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If there's a fork, the price of each coin on the less popular chain will be less than the price of the coin before the fork. So whatever you "gain" by selling the less popular coin, you lose by depreciation of the coin you keep. You can't arbitrage this into free, guaranteed profit.

  • Good that you mention this too. I hadn't read the question as being that naive, and assumed it would be clear that each halve would AT MOST be worth half of the original value. – Jannes Feb 26 '16 at 0:53

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