The term “Fork” is running in the crypto-world, sooner or later. Since there are “hard” and “soft” forks – but what is it exactly? This two-parter explores both Hard Forks as well as the Soft Forks and illustrates these in a culinary example.
Abstract a Hard Fork rules is a non-backwards-compatible Update of the Consensus. Sounds simple, but what does that mean? In short: Who wants to join in with the Hard Fork, you must adhere to the new rules. All users that follow the old rules that are not in the new network. Unanimity with the new rules, it is symbolized in the Blockchain-the cosmos, with the appropriate Software. In order to keep “the new rules”, you need to update the crypto-Software. This can be a Wallet or Mining Client. The new Software automatically to the new rules. Important: The participation in a Hard Fork is “opt-in”, that means you have to actively do something active in the new consensus agree to the rules. All, the not update, to be left behind on an old Chain. More on that later.
Vegetarians to meat-eaters = Hard Fork
Ab we consider a Hard Fork far from Bitcoin and the Blockchain, using an example from the real world:
Imagine a group of vegetarians, some of the collective (consensus)rule, “We don’t eat meat”. Now a part of the group changes their mind and would also like to eat meat. The people come together and determine a Hard Fork. “We eat meat” is the name of the new rule. Of course, there are for people, not Software, the download download. In the example, the Update would be rather the idea of “meat is allowed”. Nevertheless, the analogy is: Who updated its rules, with the old Protocol (or: the old rules). A vegetarian would refuse a meal with meat still.
A Hard Fork implies a Chain Split
Another characteristic of a Hard Fork The Blockchain splits. A Hard Fork is activated after a certain block height. Better said: In the new Software, the condition “If the Block number X, stick to the new rules”. This is one of the reasons why the Software must be brought up to date. This condition means that at Block X, the new rules apply. Those who, at the time of Block X to the old rules, it remains on an old Chain. Imagine, you can feel like a parallel universe that no longer expires at a certain Moment, identical Both Chains come from the same origin, have diverged with time but always more.
This is also the reason for double Coins. Who had money on the old Chain before the Hard Fork, this money on the new Fork; and, as before, on the old. The number of tokens has doubled in some way. This implies that the price doubled actually, this first should be cut in half after a Hard Fork.
A Hard Fork is a Change in the rules, which does not allow Backward-compatibility. Therefore, the Blockchain will split in the event of a Hard Fork. The old Blockchain continues to exist under the old rules.
Well-known examples of Hard Forks
At this point, two well-known Hard Fork examples from the Krptoindustrie be illuminated:
- Ethereum: the DAO-Hack 150 million US dollars in “lost”. The Ethereum Foundation decided to turn the clock back to before the Hack happened. This was not in accordance with the rules of the ETH-Consensus. A Hard Fork had to be introduced. Ethereum (ETH) is the new Chain since then; Ethereum Classic (ETC) is the old Chain that have not made the DAO-Hack undo.
- Bitcoin Cash: For the scaling of the Blockchain called Bitcoin Unlimited the enlargement of the block size. The consensus rules limited the block size in Bitcoin to 1 MB. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a Hard Fork, which has raised, among other things, these parameters, Bitcoin (BTC) is the old Chain (engl. = Legacy Chain).
Thus, it should be clear what is a Hard Fork and what she’s doing. However, the Claim of the Hard Forks is not always easy. In addition, a majority is essential, if you want to fork a project under the same name Hard. Otherwise you end up quickly in the Bcash-Camp (Bitcoin to Cash).
Whether you are vegetarian or a Carnivore, everyone has to decide for themselves. Important: the Software, to which rules you follow.