Make a Killing During Bitcoin Hard Forks

7 minute read Modified:

The next Bitcoin fork is inevitable. As the value of Bitcoin continues to fluctuate there are opportunities to make extra money. Here's how to take advantage.

Anyone who invested in bitcoin just before the August hard fork and simply held it for three months has already more than tripled their original investment.

As the next bitcoin hard fork approaches the value of Bitcoin is lifting. Here’s how you can take advantage of Bitcoin volatility as it moves up and down with very little risk as the price fluctuates before the next fork.

Note: This tutorial assumes you have a Coinbase account. If you don’t sign-up for one and receive $10 of free Bitcoin before continuing.

Ready to make a killing? Here, take my hand…

Step 1: Increase Your Coinbase Limits

By default Coinbase will limit you to $250 and $50 per week for ACH and credit transfers, respectively. If you have the funds you will want to increase your Coinbase limits.

Coinbase Buy/Sell tab, weekly limit amount highlighted.
Coinbase Settings tab, payment methods and bank wires highlighted.
Coinbase Buy/Sell tab, max credit card purchase highlighted.

Check Current Limits

To check your limits navigate to the Buy/Sell tab, choose a Payment Method and review the Amount listed as shown here:

Coinbase Buy/Sell tab, weekly limit amount highlighted.
Coinbase Buy/Sell tab, weekly limit amount highlighted.

If the amounts shown are below your personal risk tolerance you can increase your limits to $5000 and $500 or more for ACH and credit, respectively, in just a few simple steps.

Increase Limit Amounts

To increase your limits navigate to the Settings tab, click Payment Methods and add and verify some Payment methods and Bank Wires as shown here:

Coinbase Settings tab, payment methods and bank wires highlighted.
Coinbase Settings tab, payment methods and bank wires highlighted.

Once you have enough payment methods and bank wires connected to your account your limits will increase automatically within in a few minutes.

Note: Assumes you’ve already verified your identity with Coinbase.

When your limits are in a place you feel comfortable you want you are ready to purchase your Bitcoin, as described in the next step.

Step 2: Purchase Some Bitcoin

With your limits set you will be able to transfer money to Coinbase and purchase your Bitcoin. To transfer money to Coinbase navigate back to the Buy/Sell tab, select a Payment method and Buy some Bitcoin as shown here:

Coinbase Buy/Sell tab, max credit card purchase highlighted.
Coinbase Buy/Sell tab, max credit card purchase highlighted.

If purchasing with a credit card the purchase will be instantaneous whereas an ACH transfer can take a few days to complete. To maximize your profits before a fork you’ll want to initiate your bank transfers early to get them started.

Heads up: Coinbase charges a 3.99% convenience fee for Visa and MasterCard.

You’ll receive an email from Coinbase as soon as you initiate payment and, for ACH transfers, once again when the transfer completes and your Bitcoin is in your wallet.

Once your Bitcoin is in your Coinbase wallet it’s time to move it temporarily to the Coinbase-integrated GDAX exchange as explained in the next step.

Step 3: Move Some Bitcoin to GDAX

The purpose of using GDAX is to set stop and limit orders in order to mitigate risk and seize opportunity as volatility occurs in Bitcoin as a result of the fork.

Another benefit of GDAX is it can be used to reduce or completely eliminate trading fees—particularly useful if you plan to move into and out of fiat or to leverage gains of an altcoin such as Ethereum or Litecoin when they’re increasing in value more rapidly.

GDAX Deposit Funds dialog, Coinbase funding source options highlighted.
GDAX price chart, two stop shown beneath.
GDAX Withdraw Funds dialog, Coinbase withdrawal option highlighted.

Once your GDAX account is set-up transfer Bitcoin to GDAX and set stop orders to ensure market fluctuations do not cause you to sell below your preferred price.

Transfer Bitcoin to GDAX

To transfer cryptos from Coinbase login to GDAX, select Deposit from the upper-left near Balance and choose a Source for your funds as shown here:

GDAX Deposit Funds dialog, Coinbase funding source options highlighted.
GDAX Deposit Funds dialog, Coinbase funding source options highlighted.

Choose Deposit funds to initialize the transfer, which should complete instantly.

Set Some Stop Orders

Stop orders will sell you back into fiat if the price of the crypto fluctuates beyond your comfort zone—especially valuable during unexpected price drops while you’re doing other things. Because you do like sleeping, right?

As the fork date approaches, use stop orders to lock-in gains as the value of Bitcoin increases. Inch them upwards as price increases to secure higher-and-higher gains.

Try not to set your orders too close to market unless you want them to fill under routine price fluctuation. But be sure to keep an eye on them, and consider laddering a few as shown here:

GDAX price chart, two stop shown beneath.
GDAX price chart, two stop shown beneath.

Step 4: Prepare for the Split

According an article from 99 Bitcoins, and referencing a statement from the Coinbase Blog, key preparedness considerations for forks like Segwit2x include:

  • Getting your coins into a wallet that is under your control.
  • Not to “spend” coins after the split due to lack of replay protection.
  • Not to trade around the time of the split; wait for “all clear”.

Move Bitcoin from GDAX back into Coinbase

Prior to the split, move your Bitcoin from GDAX back into your Coinbase account so the split occurs while the Bitcoin is in one of your Coinbase wallets.

To move from GDAX back to Coinbase fist open Trade View, select the BTC/USD product pair, cancel any unfilled stop and limit orders to free up all your bitcoins, and then click Withdraw.

A Withdraw Funds dialog will appear. From there choose Coinbase Account, enter the Amount and select a Destination Wallet as shown here:

GDAX Withdraw Funds dialog, Coinbase withdrawal option highlighted.
GDAX Withdraw Funds dialog, Coinbase withdrawal option highlighted.
Note: If you’re moving to a Coinbase competitor with better customer service such as Luno choose BTC Address instead from Withdraw Funds dialog.

Complete the withdrawal to finish moving the Bitcoin to your wallet and you, my friend, are all set for the fork. Your only task now is to buy yourself a juicy bone-in ribeye and consider reserving your Model 3 in order to properly appreciate your gains.

A wise investor must never invest more than is reasonable.

Ben Franklin

Now go kill it.