What is Hard Fork? You’ve updated the app on your smartphone, right? The process of updating applications on smartphones is really needed to update bugs or various other provisions. In blockchain, this is called a hard fork.
So, what is a hard fork? What does the concept of a hard fork have in common with the application update process on a smartphone? This article will shed some light on that matter. Here’s a review for you.
What is Fork?
Like the process of updating software on a smartphone, a fork is a process of updating the blockchain network which also occurs for certain reasons. Usually, updated software will be copied and modified to form new software.
In the fork process the old projects that were copied and modified will still be used, while the new projects will be up and running with the new predefined rules.
For example, when two football clubs Liverpool and Everton parted ways. Previously, there was only the Everton football club in the city of Merseyside, England. As time goes by, there are differences of opinion that make the higher-ups have to go their separate ways.
As a result, a new football club was formed called Liverpool FC. Both football clubs are still running together. Of course, both have different rules and conditions according to what they have agreed to respectively.
The same is true in the blockchain world. In fact, several times the fork phenomenon has occurred in Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are the two most popular cryptocurrency networks in the world today. The fork itself consists of two types, namely hard fork and soft fork.
What is Hard Fork?
A hard fork is a software update process carried out on an old blockchain network because it is alleged that it is no longer compatible. Another term is backward-incompatible.
This condition will usually occur when a node in the old blockchain network adds a new rule that turns out to be contrary to the rules of the old node. This will make the two separate because they can no longer relate at all.
The new node that is created will only be able to connect with other nodes that also use the new version of the rule. Meanwhile, the old node can only connect with other nodes that also use the old version of the rules.
Thus, the blockchain network will split in half and create two separate networks. However, both of them will continue to walk and do their respective transactions. However, now they are not on the same network.
Examples of Hard Forks in the Blockchain World
There are several examples of hard forks that have occurred in the blockchain world to date. At most, hard forks occur on the bitcoin and ethereum networks. Here are some examples of hard fork cases that have occurred:
1. Ethereum Classic
Ethereum has experienced a hard fork and formed a new network called Ethereum Classic. Ethereum users were ultimately unable to send ether to the Ethereum Classic network. Vice versa.
The first case of a hard fork on the bitcoin network was the emergence of BTC1. BTC1 appears as a new network under the name Segwit2x. The creator of this network intends for bitcoin users to move to this network.
However, the plan failed and bitcoin users remained loyal. BTC1 is slowly starting to disappear and is considered no longer functional.
3. Bitcoin ABC
After the failure of BTC1, another network emerged called Bitcoin ABC. Bitcoin ABC was designed to exit the Bitcoin Core network that houses bitcoin in 2017. After leaving the Bitcoin Core network, Bitcoin ABC began issuing a new token called Bitcoin Cash.
Apparently, the release of Bitcoin Cash was well received by some and is still going on today.
The emergence of Bitcoin Cash triggered the emergence of other hard forks, such as Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, and many more.
Hard forks can be very beneficial for the blockchain network in the long run. This is because the more popular cryptocurrencies are, the more users and miners will appear.
Even the old blockchain network will be slower and more expensive. Therefore, it is necessary to update by creating a new blockchain network for the survival of the blockchain in the future.
However, the breakdown of the blockchain network can also be disastrous if the developers don’t want to lose to each other. As a result, the volatility of cryptocurrencies will be higher and detrimental to its users.