If you have a paper wallet, and you haven’t yet claimed your free Bitcoin Cash then read on. There maybe easier ways but I wanted to experiment with the Bitcoin ABC Wallet. You can download the latest release from https://www.bitcoinabc.org
It is recommended to install this onto a new machine that hasn’t previously had any bitcoin wallet client installed. This is because of the potential conflict of the data directory.
Once installed, the next step is to let the software do it’s thing. ie download the blockchain. For me it took about 4 days!
Once done, I then had to run a very simple command. Navigate to Help > Debug window and type in
> importprivkey TypeYourPrivateKeyHere
What happens next is that you have to wait some more. Bitcoin-Qt will re-scan the entire blockchain. This time it only takes a few hours. After it has finished, you should see your expected balance, ie the equivalent number of how ever many bitcoins you had appear as bitcoin cash.
If you have a mobile wallet and have a seed (12/18/24 words) as a backup, download this code: https://github.com/iancoleman/bip39. What it does is convert BIP39 mnemonic phrases (the 12/18/24 words) to addresses and private keys. You then have to take each private key and run the importprivkey command as noted above.
It takes about 2 hrs per private key. It’s not hard work but you do need patience.