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What is crypto Hard fork

What is crypto Hard fork?

  • 20 August 2022
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In blockchain technology, hard fork or (hard fork) refers to a radical change in the protocols of a blockchain network. Simply put, a hard fork splits a single cryptocurrency in two and results in the validation of blocks and transactions that were previously invalid, or vice versa. Therefore, all developers must update the protocol software’s latest version. In this article, we will answer the question What is a crypto Hard fork?

Forks in blockchain

Blockchain forks are defined in several ways, but the common understanding is that they occur when the protocol changes when a blockchain diverges into two or more potential paths forward.

Forks can occur on any crypto technology platform, including Bitcoin. When different parties disagree, alternate chains emerge from the chain, and while most forks are temporary, some become permanent.

Short-lived forks result from the difficulty in reaching consensus within the system since, as mentioned earlier, only the users within the network are authorized to approve transactions for changes.

Forks can be divided into accidental and intentional forks. Accidental forks occur when two or more blocks are found at once, and it resolves when subsequent blocks are added and one of the chains ends up being longer than the other. The blockchain network then discards the blocks that are in the shorter chain, known as orphan blocks.

The second group of blocks, called intentional forks, changes the blockchain rules and includes two different types hard forks and soft forks.

What is crypto Hard fork

What is crypto Hard fork: Understand hard forks

A hard fork refers to a rule change that has far-reaching implications for the entire blockchain network protocol. Compared to the old rules, the valid blocks generated using the new rules can be considered invalid. Or invalid blocks will consider valid, which means that all nodes that will suppose to work according to the new rules have to update their software.

After the new rule will add, one path follows the new blockchain while the other continues with the old one. If one group of users (or nodes) is using the old software while the others are using the new software, a permanent disconnect can occur.

While this sometimes happens, in other cases many nodes using the new software may choose to revert to the old rules. However, a more common scenario is that after creating the new fork, those using the old chain realize that their version will be outdated and less useful than the new one and decide to upgrade to the new one.

Hard forks vs. soft forks

The other type of fork that descends from intention forks is the soft fork. Hard and soft forks are similar in that when a blockchain rule changes, the old version remains on the network while the new one also exists.

With soft forks, old nodes may accept data that appears invalid to the new nodes without the user noticing. Nodes in hard forks stop processing the blocks after adding new rules.

The two versions of the software tend to remain compatible with soft forks, while this is not the case with hard forks. While both forks create a split, a hard fork creates two blockchains, while a soft fork only creates one.

Almost all users and developers prefer a hard fork over a soft fork due to the differences in security between these types. Overhauling every block within the blockchain requires a lot of effort and computational power, but the privacy of a hard fork is a key differentiator.

What is crypto Hard fork: Why do hard forks happen?

Things change, and they often change faster and more frequently in the crypto industry than in other industries due to the fast pace of blockchain innovation. As a result, the underlying code of a cryptocurrency is in some ways always a work of progress, open to both use and improvement as technology changes.

Software updates typically create hard forks for several valid reasons. It could be adding new functions and features to the blockchain protocol to make it better. Also, more competitive, or even cross-compatible with other blockchains. Of course, community developers often disagree about what changes can improve their cryptocurrency project. And these opinions occasionally lead to irreconcilable differences that can only be resolved with different versions of their cryptocurrency.

Blockchain and crypto-asset developers are continuously working on new features that iterate on the protocol’s open-source software and improve its security, stability, and scalability.

Sometimes, a simple network upgrade is not enough and a drastic overhaul of the existing code will require. A good analogy here is new generation video game consoles or mobile phones. Which are often not compatible with older-generation games or applications.

Crypto hard fork can help patch security holes in protocols, introduce new features or better functionality, and change mining rewards or transaction fees. As well as the speed and scope at which a blockchain’s transactions will validate. Importantly, hard forks can help smaller blockchains reverse malicious transactions. Where bad actors hacked users or scammed their funds.

What is a crypto Hard fork example?

The most notable example of such a reversal was the creation of the new Ethereum chain, after the original chain, now called Ethereum Classic, suffered a devastating $150 million hack in 2016 due to security flaws. To restore victims’ funds, the Ethereum Foundation implemented a new update that reversed the subsequent illegal transactions made by the DAO hackers.

The most well-known hard fork is the 2017 Bitcoin hard fork that created Bitcoin Cash. A longstanding community dispute came to a head when Bitcoin Cash miners upgraded to a protocol version that increased the block size from 1MB to 8MB. As a result, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash now exist as two entirely different blockchains, serving different communities with their own set of rules and goals.

It is important to note that forks, especially hard forks, can cause a lot of disruption. They badly need to fix security issues and make cryptocurrencies work better. As the song says, it’s evolution baby!


Why Bitcoin cloud mining?

An unknown individual or group called Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the Bitcoin network in 2009. In 2021, there will be more than 10,000 different projects in cryptocurrencies. So each of them has its role in building the future of money.

The market value of cryptocurrencies reached $ 1 trillion. It happened for the first time in January 2021. It passed $ 2.5 trillion less than three months later. So it shows that this market is one of the growing markets favoring its investors.

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