What is a Hard Fork?
A Hard Fork occurs when the code of an existing blockchain is modified, resulting in a permanently new ‘forked’ version of that blockchain. One path then follows the old code and the new (forked path) follows the new code. Any nodes running on the old version will not be able to operate on the new version and vice versa.
Whenever there is a hard fork, existing holders of the coin at the time of the split will receive equal balances of the coin on the new chain. Some well known examples are the Ethereum Classic hard fork and the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
What is an Airdrop?
An Airdrop is a procedure by which developers of a token award free tokens to certain members of the crypto-community.
This can either happen during a token’s pre-launch stage by entering a wallet address into an airdrop campaign form or simply by holding another coin or token. For example the first airdrop was conducted by the OmiseGo team (OMG), who distributed 5% of their tokens to holders of Ethereum in order to align the Ethereum community with their vision.
Importantly, you are only guaranteed the new tokens if you are the sovereign owner of the wallet address which holds the existing token. If you are holding tokens on an exchange and would like to claim your tokens, it is paramount to check the exchange’s policy before the fork and NOT to assume they are able to support it.
What is our policy?
Due to the increasing popularity of hard-forks and airdrops on the Ethereum network, we are unable to automatically support every new token.
That being said, we always aim to support hard-forks so long as there is a large enough community interest and the tokens are of significant value (if there is no value or trading interest in the new fork we will most likely not support it), and will continue to evaluate on an ongoing basis.
We may not always announce in advance if we are supporting a fork or token. However we have a default handling and are able to credit airdrops to users after the event. If there is any uncertainty and you are planning to claim your free tokens for a particular fork we recommend withdrawing your funds to a personally owned wallet address at the block-time of the snapshot. This will also ensure you have access to your tokens in a timely manner.