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Potential network disruption

Last updated: 2017/07/21 12:00 UTC. This page will be updated when new information becomes available. See the list of updates.

Starting at approximately 2017/07/23 00:00 UTC, Bitcoin confirmation scores may become less reliable than normal for a period of up to a month.

Users are advised to wait for more confirmations than they usually would before accepting any payment as final. Bitcoin.org’s usual recommendation during network disruption is to wait for 30 confirmations.

We also recommend monitoring this page and other Bitcoin news sites for additional information and updates.

Outdated information from earlier versions of this post follows.

Chain split

Since Bitcoin’s inception, its network has facilitated hundreds of millions of transactions. As a result, different groups of people (developers, investors, entrepreneurs, etc.), have debated on the best ways Bitcoin can be optimized to allow it to exponentially scale even further. In recent months, alternative software has been released that represents some of the interests of the aforementioned groups of people - software that is scheduled to go live toward the end of July.

The Bitcoin block chain, which is a record of all Bitcoin transactions to date, relies on a network of thousands of Bitcoin nodes running Bitcoin software. On 2017/08/01 00:00 UTC, the Bitcoin block chain may experience what is known as a chain split. This is when a portion of Bitcoin’s nodes run software that another portion of nodes are not fully compatible with. As a result, some nodes may propagate confirmed transactions that other nodes may not accept or recognize. This may result in unreliable confirmation scoring for an unknown length of time. This means that any bitcoins you receive during this period could disappear from your wallet or be a type of bitcoin that other people will not accept as payment, until the situation is resolved.

Once the situation is reso...

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