BitPay to shutter services during Segwit2x hard fork

The digital payment service will suspend its services due to the coming uncertainty.

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BitPay has warned users that the firm will halt services prior to the deployment of the Segwit2x hard fork and users will be unable to make payments until the event has finished.

On Tuesday, the provider of the BitPay Card -- a way to accept, store, and spend Bitcoin on the move through a 'credit' card -- said that the deployment, which is scheduled to occur with block 494,784, is likely to occur in mid-November and the "safety and security of our users is always our top priority."

In a blog post, BitPay said that while "most" miners have expressed support for Segwit2x -- which will alter some of the blockchain's rules, including changing the size of blocks passed and stored in the blockchain from 1MB to 2MB -- as some remain divided, precautions must be taken.

BitPay will suspend payment acceptance, disbursement and debit card reloads approximately 24 hours prior to the activation of Segwit2x, impacting merchant services and the BitPay card and Copay wallet.

The company recommends that users stop using Bitcoin prior to block 494,784 until the hard fork is complete, and once the event has taken place, BitPay intends to resume full service.

"If you have a Bitcoin wallet and use Bitcoin during this period of uncertainty, you should assume that there will be a chain split and that any Bitcoin you send will be included in both chains," BitPay says. "In addition, any Bitcoin you receive will be at a higher than normal risk of double spend."

BitPay also added that should a chain split occur, the company will "follow the chain with the most accumulated difficulty."

"In the event of a prolonged or permanent chain split, if the minority chain has significant market value, we will provide instructions to Copay and BitPay wallet users on how to safely access those coins," the company added. "We will refer to the minority chain as BC1 (if Segwit2x is the majority) or BC2 (if Segwit2x is the minority). Beyond that, we have no plans to offer our services on the minority chain."

In July, Bitcoin underwent a fork that led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash, and only last month, a hard fork resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Gold.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG) was met with skepticism and saw its value plunge 66 percent as trading started.

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