Introducing Our First Dedicated Open Source Developer

It’s a great joy to welcome (back) Sjors to the family. Sjors joined our team as one of our earliest engineers and was at the center of rewriting and scaling our web wallet for three years. After some time off for exploring, Sjors has decided to focus on open source protocol development. I know he’ll bring a valuable perspective from his time working on our platform.

Sjors has been passionate about contributing to open source for a long-time. In fact, that’s how we met him – he made a pull request on an early version of our iOS wallet. He’s already contributing to Bitcoin Core and has previously run some really fun smart contract experiments on Ethereum.

We want to make sure Sjors is independent, so we’ve been clear that:

  1. Sjors is sponsored for the work and is an independent from our main engineering team
  2. Sjors can work on any protocol that we’re currently supporting on our wallet
  3. Everything Sjors does under the sponsorship is open sourced

Sjors has already had a tremendous impact on the way millions of people use digital currencies, but I’m excited to see him continue making that impact, across an even greater user base by shifting his focus to the protocols themselves. To the OS community, you should know you’re getting one of the best – a person I don’t always agree with, but a person whose opinion I’ve always found to be of the highest quality, and whose integrity is without a doubt.  

Forking, Cashing, and Witnessing

At Blockchain, our priority is always our users and the safety of their funds. We recently communicated that our service would be unavailable during the Segwit2x hard fork. While plans for the hard fork have been suspended, there may be some network instability at block height 494,784.

We’ll be monitoring the network closely. Should network instability threaten the safety of our users’ funds, we may briefly suspend outgoing bitcoin transactions but anticipate any suspension to last no more than 1 hour.

Moving forward, we are prioritizing two major initiatives to improve our users’ experiences in the digital currency ecosystem:

SegWit

Our block explorer, Blockchain.info, has supported SegWit from the day it activated. In 2018 we will be rolling out support for SegWit within our wallet products. This will be a major and complex update to some of the most sensitive parts of our codebase, across a wide variety of platforms and devices, affecting billions in user transactions with potentially significant privacy implications. We will do this cautiously but also with consideration for the rising miner’s fees within the bitcoin ecosystem. We are excited about the advances SegWit offers and we plan to begin making it available within our wallets in as soon as possible in 2018, with an eye towards rollout in Q1.

Bitcoin Cash

We launched partial Bitcoin Cash support on October 11th and said we would monitor market demand for fully featured support. Market demand for Bitcoin Cash has proven strong and, in our view, it’s likely here to stay.

We plan to offer full support for Bitcoin Cash before the end of year on web with support across all our platforms before end of the end of Q1 2018. Stay tuned for product launch announcements!

SegWit2x Hard Fork: Frequently Asked Questions

When block 494,784 is mined (on or around November 16th), the second and final part of an important network upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol called “SegWit2x” will take place. Below is a quick breakdown of what to expect throughout the coming weeks.


Some background on SegWit2x
SegWit2x is essentially a software upgrade that will bring improved capacity to the Bitcoin protocol.  A majority of Bitcoin miners have signaled their intent to deploy Segwit2x, which increases the base size of bitcoin transaction “blocks” (groups of bitcoin transactions). The final part of this change is scheduled to occur when bitcoin block 494,784 is mined. Right now, this protocol change will likely activate on or about November 16th.

How does Blockchain plan to respond to SegWit2x?
During the upgrade, unanticipated changes to the Bitcoin network may occur. Our team is working around the clock to ensure our platform is prepared to incorporate these changes to the network as quickly as possible.  During the upgrade period, we will take steps to ensure users are protected and their funds are safe.

To keep your funds safe while the network is in transition, we will temporarily suspend bitcoin send, request, buy, sell, and exchange functionality roughly 24 hours before the time of the fork until the network stabilizes.

What happens if there is a network split?
There is a significant possibility that the planned hard fork will result in two bitcoin block chains. In this case, we will follow the chain with the most accumulated difficulty and refer to that chain as bitcoin. If the minority chain has significant value, we will make that value available for customers to hold or exchange for a period of time, as we have done with Bitcoin Cash. If the minority chain is the one with 1MB blocks, we plan to call it BT1. If the minority chain has 2MB blocks, we plan to call it BT2.

Is there any action I need to take in advance?
While no immediate action is required, we encourage you to write down your backup phrase if you haven’t already. Check out this blog for more info on that.

Will I be able to see my bitcoin in my Blockchain wallet?
Yes. We will temporarily be suspending transactions for bitcoin, but your funds will remain safe and you’ll be able to monitor them from within your Blockchain wallet. Please note, until the network stabilizes, your bitcoin’s fiat balance will be based on the value of bitcoin at the time of the hard fork.

Can I use ether during SegWit2x?
Yes, ether will be available during SegWit2x. If you have transactions you need to make during this time, we recommend using ether to send and request.  

When are you suspending buy and sell functionality for bitcoin?
We will be suspending all buy and sell functionality roughly 24 hours before the fork.

When will you bring back transactions? Will you be offering replay protection? 
We’ll bring back transactions when it’s safe either because there is one chain or funds are protected by our own replay protection.

Where can I find the latest updates?
We’ve created a status page at blockchain-status.com where we’ll be posting regular updates throughout. We will have updates featured on throughout the wallet as well.

Have additional questions? Our industry-leading support team is prepared, as always, to help answer your questions at support.blockchain.com.

Ether is Now Available on iOS & Android

A few months ago, we added ether to the Blockchain wallet. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re extending that functionality to our mobile apps. As of today, users can seamlessly store, send, and receive ether on both iOS and Android.

As part of our mission to make digital assets increasingly user-friendly and accessible, we kept the mobile user experience for both currencies consistent and easy to navigate. With this update, users will notice the following two exciting changes:

  1. With a simple tap users can navigate between ether and bitcoin to monitor transactions, send funds, or request payment; and
  2. We’re rolling out a new dashboard that will allow users to monitor the market price for both currencies.

As always, users can find the latest mobile versions at our App Store and Google Play Store links.

Don’t have a Blockchain wallet? Click here to sign up today!

What the scheduled Bitcoin hard fork means for Blockchain Wallet Users

At Blockchain, our priority is always our users. Our view on network upgrades and forks is two-fold. First, we will prioritize user safety throughout any network upgrade or instability above all else. Second, we believe our users should maximally benefit from forks wherever feasible.

Not sure what a hard fork or soft fork is? Click here to learn more. Want to understand how this might impact your Blockchain wallet? Read on.

Read more “What the scheduled Bitcoin hard fork means for Blockchain Wallet Users”

Bitcoin Cash is now available in the Blockchain Wallet

Since the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork activated on August 1st, we’ve continued to monitor this emerging digital asset and confirmed in a brief update our decision to roll out limited support, in line with our users’ requests, within approximately 8 weeks.

We’re excited to share that, as of today, any user who had a Bitcoin balance in their Blockchain wallet when the fork activated, will be able to access the same amount in BCH.

Users can now store, exchange, and send Bitcoin Cash by clicking on General in the Settings menu of their web wallet. In the future, we may offer expanded support.

If you choose to continue to store your BCH, you’ll still retain full, exclusive access to these funds, which will always be accessible with your recovery phrase. Still curious about how Bitcoin Cash will work in the Blockchain wallet? Visit our Support Center.

Product Update: Q3 2017

With summer over, we’ve got Halloween creeping closer and the end-of-year holiday season not too far after. That also means it’s time for our Q3 product update. This quarter brought some exciting integrations and new features both on mobile and web. Keep reading for all the details!

Quarterly product updates banner with Blockchain branded rocket pictured on the right

 

Read more “Product Update: Q3 2017”

We’ve Joined Forces with Unocoin To Make Buying Bitcoin Even Easier

We’re excited to announce that we have partnered with India’s most popular exchange, Unocoin, to give Blockchain users across India the ability to quickly and easily fund their Blockchain wallets.

Beginning today, we’ve integrated Unocoin’s exchange directly within the Blockchain wallet to give you greater purchasing power without having to compromise security or control.

For the first time ever, your Blockchain wallet can be funded in just a few clicks by linking your bank account, which is subject to bank transfer speed.

GIF of the buy bitcoin process through Blockchain's integration with Unocoin

Millions of Indians have embraced digital assets as a reliable way to save and transfer money. Together with Unocoin we are committed to making digital currency simple and more accessible throughout India. Whether it’s high fees, untrustworthy service providers, or confusing identity verification procedures, it’s often been a slow and challenging process to get started with bitcoin. Today’s integration is an important step forward in eliminating the friction that many have experienced in buying bitcoin.

The Unocoin integration is available to web users, but we plan on expanding to our Android and iOS wallet users in the near future. Log-in or sign up at www.blockchain.com to get started today!

Bitcoin Cash Update

We’ve been closely monitoring Bitcoin Cash (BCH) since the hard fork on August 1st and wanted to provide a brief update to our users.

Within the next 8 weeks, we’ll be rolling out limited support for BCH via the settings panel in your Blockchain Wallet. Users with balances of bitcoin in their Blockchain Wallet on August 1st will be able to access an equal balance, as of August 1st, of bitcoin cash.

While no immediate action is necessary, rest assured that your funds are secure. Blockchain wallets are non-custodial and you hold the private keys, meaning you always have full, exclusive access to your funds — which are always accessible with your recovery phrase.

Seamlessly store, send, and receive ether with your Blockchain wallet

At Blockchain, we care deeply about building products users love.  We’re constantly collecting user feedback and using it to help determine where we go next.

Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now seamlessly store, send, and receive ether from within the Blockchain wallet. By adding ether as a new currency, we’re providing users with a new diverse way to interact with the digital economy.

What’s different?

An image showing Blockchain's new ether product.

Using the same user-friendly interface, you can now seamlessly toggle between bitcoin and ether. To keep it simple, the ether experience will mirror the bitcoin experience our users have come to love.

For more information about the ins and outs of ether and how it works in your Blockchain wallet, visit our Support Center Learning Portal.

Exchange BTC for ETH powered by ShapeShift

GIF showing the Blockchain ShapeShift process exchanging bitcoin to ether.

For users looking to acquire ether, we’re excited to introduce a built-in BTC to ETH (and vice versa) exchange, powered by ShapeShift. Accessible directly within your Blockchain wallet, this integration makes it easy for users to acquire both digital currencies and monitor exchange progress, from start to finish.

Of course, in keeping with our ethos, this is just the first iteration of this product. In the coming weeks and months (and years!), we’ll continue to gather user feedback and use that to further build out this integration. Let us know what you think and where to go next.

Don’t have a Blockchain wallet? Click here to sign up today!