A Fork is the resultant product when a blockchain diverges into two different forms. Forks generally occur when there is an alteration in the protocol and they might occur in any crypto-technology platform, even in Bitcoin. When two different parties differ, alternative chains appear from the main chain and while maximum forks are short termed, any of them lasts forever.
Brief introduction to blockchain:
Blockchain is a decentralized database technology that involves the use of lists of data known as blocks which stores data in a public ledger chronologically.
- The data is encoded using cryptography that ensures the privacy of the user and stores the data in a safe manner which cannot be altered by anybody else.
- The information on the blockchain is not under the control of any central authority; instead, it is maintained by the user and it is their decision to approve any kind of transactions occurring within the network.
Forks in blockchain:
Forks can occur in any of the following situations:
- Two different miners discover a fork almost at the same time.
- Developers want to alter the protocol that is used by the software to decide the validity of the transactions taking place.
- Temporary forks are a result of the difficulty of reaching consent within the system as it is only the users in the network who can validate the transactions for change.
- Two categories into which forks can split are accidental forks and intentional forks.
Accidental forks when two blocks or more are discovered at the same time and when succeeding blocks are added, it is settled.
- As a consequence, one of the chains is larger than the other, then the blockchain network renounces the blocks of the shorter chain known as orphaned blocks.
- The next group is intentional forks that disrupt the rules of blockchain and are of two types hard forks and soft forks. Trading cryptocurrency can be intimidating for beginners, in such cases the https://bitcoinmillionaire-pro.com/ might be of some help.
Hard forks are the change in rules that comes with far-reaching inference on the entire protocol of the wide network of blockchain.
- In comparison to the older rules, the authentic blocks produced using the updated rules may be seen as not valid or the invalid blocks may be seen as authentic.
- After the addition of the new rules, one path goes after the new blockchain and the other one moves with the older one. If in any instance the users used the old software and another group uses the updated software, it will result in a permanent split.
- On several occasions many nodes that use the updated software can return to the old rules.
A soft fork in a blockchain technology is an alteration in the protocol of the software where the previously authenticated transaction blocks are made inoperative.
- A soft fork is backwards amicable because the previous nodes will recognize the updated blocks as authentic.
- This type of forks needs the majority of miners reforming to enforce the updated rules, as opposed to a hard fork that agrees on the newer form using all nodes to advance.
Hard forks vs soft forks
- In soft forks, older nodes may accept data that materialize as authentic to the newly formed nodes without the attention of the user. While in hard forks, the nodes will cease from processing the blocks after the addition of updated new rules.
- In soft forks, two versions of the software remain compatible while, this does not happen with hard forks
- Hard and soft forks both create split, a hard fork creates two blockchains whereas a soft fork results in one blockchain.
In most cases the developers as well as the users prefer a hard fork over a soft fork because of the security challenges are different in both. Soft forks have been used on the blockchain of Bitcoin and Ethereum.