You can and should immediately submit your FT8 QSOs to LoTW. Confirmations they generate are valid for DXCC Digital, VUCC, WAS Digital, and WPX Digital awards.
To submit your FT8 QSOs to LoTW, you must first configure TQSL to automatically "map" their mode to DATA. This is a simple procedure in TQSL:
1. Select the File menu’s "Display or Modify Preferences…" command (on OS X, select the Application menu’s Preferences command) to display TQSL’s Preferences dialog.
2. In the Preferences dialog, select the "ADIF Modes" tab, and click the "Add…" button.
3. In the "ADIF Mode:" box, type FT8
4. In the "Resulting TQSL Mode" list, click on DATA, and then click the OK button at the bottom of the tab
5. click the Preference dialog’s OK button
Why is this necessary? There will always be a delay between the appearance of a new digital mode, and LoTW being updated to accept that mode. This delay is not the result of updating LoTW being a lengthy or onerous process; this process is actually quite straightforward. The delay allows the new mode’s properties to stabilize. FT8, for example, was originally named JT8.
When LoTW is updated to accept FT8 QSOs, will the confirmations or award credits generated by your QSOs mapped to DATA be adversely impacted? Absolutely not! If you immediately submitted your FT8 QSO mapped to DATA, but your QSO partner waited and submitted your QSO as FT8, you’ll both receive a confirmation valid for DXCC Digital, VUCC, WAS Digital, and WPX Digital awards.
At some time in the future, the ARRL may decide to offer a WAS FT8 endorsement. Such an endorsement will require an "exact mode match", meaning that both participants in a QSO submit it to LoTW with a mode of FT8. If and when such an endorsement is offered, the polite US-based operator will
1. delete the FT8=>DATA mode mapping from TQSL (in the "ADIF Modes" tab of TQSL’s Preferences dialog, select the FT8=>DATA mapping and then click the Delete button)
2. resubmit all FT8 QSOs to LoTW
This resubmission will update each QSO already submitted to LoTW. This will not adversely impact any confirmations or award credits already generated by the updated QSOs.
In summary, there is no reason to delay submitting your FT8 QSOs to LoTW. By configuring TQSL so you can immediately submit them, you’re enabling your QSO partners to quickly gain confirmations and award credits via this excellent new mode.