Hard Fork Vs Soft Fork
Forks, or the threat of them, seem to be an established feature of the cryptocurrency landscape. But what are they? Why are they such a big deal? And what is the difference between a hard fork and a soft fork? A "fork," in programming terms, is an open-source code modification. Usually the forked code is similar to the original, but with important modifications, and the two "prongs" comfortably co-exist. Sometimes a fork is used to test a process, but with cryptocurrencies, it is more often used to implement a fundamental change, or to create a new asset with similar (but not equal) characteristics as the original. Not all forks are intentional. With a widely distributed open-source codebase, a fork can happen accidentally when not all nodes are replicating the same information. Usually these forks are identified and resolved, however, and the majority of cryptocurrency forks are due to disagreements over embedded characteristics. One thing to bear in mind with forks is that they have a "shared history." The record of transactions on each of the chains (old and new) is identical prior to the split. There are two main types of programming fork: hard and soft. A hard fork is a change to a protocol that renders older versions invalid. If older versions continue running, they will end up with a different protocol and with different data than the newer version. This can lead to significant confusion and possible error. With bitcoin, a hard fork would be necessary to change defining parameters such as the block size, the difficulty of the cryptographic puzzle that needs to be solved, limits to additional information that can be added, etc. A change to any of these rules would cause blocks to be accepted by the new protocol but rejected by older versions and could lead to ser Continue reading >>
The Differences Between A Hard Fork, A Soft Fork, And A Chain Split, And What They Mean For The Future Ofbitcoin
Community Lead @AragonProject. Co-founder @BitseedOrg. Website: The differences between a hard fork, a soft fork, and a chain split, and what they mean for the future ofbitcoin Note: In this post, I will describe soft and hard forks in the context of the bitcoin protocol specifically, but generally speaking, these definitions and effects are the same for other blockchain protocols as well. Update #1 07/31/17: Since the time that I first started writing this, a small group of bitcoin miners have decided to run software called Bcash that will initiate a hard fork on August 1, 2017. Godspeed to them. Ever since the New York Agreement led to a new implementation of bitcoin called btc1 , the topic of a bitcoin hard fork has been top of mind for many people in the bitcoin community, including myself. The btc1 implementation is designed to activate a hard fork (Segwit2x) approximately three months after the activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit), a soft fork upgrade to the bitcoin protocol. With SegWit activation seemingly just around the corner, anxiety is building about the upcoming Segwit2x hard fork activation. But what is a hard fork, how is it different than a soft fork, and why are people so anxious about it? To illustrate the difference between a hard fork and a soft fork, and the potential effects each may have on the bitcoin network, I will create several hypothetical scenarios. These scenarios will be intentionally extreme so that a hard fork and a soft fork can be shown in stark contrast and the differences may be clearly understood. By the end, I hope to permanently put to rest any misconceptions about each style of change and any misunderstandings about their definitions. A soft fork is a change to the bitcoin protocol that restricts the ruleset enforced by f Continue reading >>
What Is The Difference Between Hard Fork And Soft Fork?
What is the difference between hard fork and soft fork? The difference in backward compatibility. Imagine you have two versions of node software v1(old) and v2(new). hard fork - is the situation when v2 (new version) node doesnt accept blocks of old version. (There is no backward compatibility). But v1 node still accepts blocks of old version. soft fork - is the situation when v2(new version) node accept both (new and old) blocks (There is backward compatibility). But v1 node doesnt accept blocks on new version. A hard fork is any change in the bitcoin protocol that would allow transactions that were previously considered invalid. Hard forks are frowned upon, and are only allowed by the bitcoin community in extraordinary circumstances. The bitcoin network is decentralized. Miners independently validate transactions and add them to blocks that make it onto the blockchain via consensus. The logic behind which transactions are valid, and which transactions are not, is contained in the bitcoin software something that miners download and run on their machines. In a decentralized network, you cannot assume that everyone is running the latest version as there is no central authority to push the software update to all users. Miners who didnt hear about the hard fork would continue running the old version of the software and simply reject transactions that are now actually valid. Continue reading >>
Crypto Terminology: What Are Hard And Soft Forks?
Crypto Terminology: What are hard and soft forks? With so much 'forking' going on lately I thought I would take the time to explain what it means Let's take a look at a hard fork first, according to Investopedia it is: "a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid (or vice-versa)". Investopedia continued: "This requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software. Put differently, a hard fork is a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain, and nodes running previous versions will no longer be accepted by the newest version." That possibly makes things as clear as mud, in its most basic form, a hard fork is a software upgrade that is not backwards compatible with the old software. In other words, everyone has to upgrade to the new system in order to participate. There are currently two basic hard forks people talk about, 'planned' hard forks and 'contentious' hard forks. A planned hard fork is usually set out in the timeline and is integral to the success of the coin/token and has complete consensus of the company/community. The other type, 'contentious' hard fork, is created due to disagreements within the community/company. Let's have a look a famous contentious hard fork to dive deeper into how hard forks work: There were two different groups within the bitcoin community who had differing opinions on how to make bitcoin better, one wanted to stay with the original software, the other wanted a radical update. So, a contentious hard fork was created. When a hard fork is created, the original code and blockchain are cloned and run side by side simultaneously although they are different as one has the upgrade and the other doesn't. This requires the group that wanted to st Continue reading >>
Terminology - What Is A Soft Fork? - Bitcoin Stack Exchange
When people talk about possible changes to how Bitcoin works they sometimes say a particular change can be implemented as a soft fork. What does that mean? How does this compare to a hard fork? A fork in software development refers to the event of an independent project spinning off from a software project. Such forks sometimes occur in the opensource sphere, when there are irreconcilable plans/goals within a project's community, then often leading to a split in the community and two distinct projects thereafter . In practice this takes form in the sourcecode being copied and henceforth being developed in a different direction independently by the forkers. For example in this conventional sense of fork, Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin: Litecoin started as a copy of Bitcoin's code-base, but developed into an independent project (although still closely related). Softfork and Hardfork in Bitcoin terminology The terms softfork and hardfork in Bitcoin describe compatibility breaking changes in the Bitcoin protocol: Should the community be irreconcilably divided about such an issue, the old version and the new version of Bitcoin could emerge as distinct projects thereafter. While both versions of the Bitcoin protocol are in use, the differences in acceptance may cause a lasting blockchain-fork, i.e. two distinct longest chains which are both considered valid by part of the network. Softforks restrict block acceptance rules in comparison to earlier versions. The new rules allow a subset of the previous valid blocks, therefore all blocks considered valid by the newer version are also valid in the old version. If at least 51% of the mining power shifts to the new version, the system self-corrects: Blocks created by old versions of Bitcoin Core that are invalid under the new parad Continue reading >>
Guide To Forks: Everything You Need To Know About Forks, Hard Fork And Soft Fork
Guide to Forks: Everything You Need to Know About Forks, Hard Fork and Soft Fork Lets fork it up By Aziz, Founder of Master the Crypto No responses This is a guide to forks that will explain the most common questions: What is a fork, hard fork and soft fork? Why does it happen? How important is it? Forks are a common phenomenon in computing software and represent a technical term that escapes the understanding of many. In order to have a clear understanding of forks, we have to look at Bitcoin and its technology, as its creation spearheaded the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment network and currency. The underlying mechanism of Bitcoin is its software protocol, which constitutes a bunch of computing codes that serve as predefined rules for the network. One thing important to understand is that Bitcoins software is open sourced, whereby the underlying computing codes is free and available for anyone to view, inspect and use. (Read also: Guide to Common Crypto Terms ) The blockchain the technology underlying Bitcoin is a distributed ledger made up of blocks of data that is continuously growing, forming a single chain of blocks (hence block-chain). Since Bitcoin is a decentralized network, participants in the network need to agree on a common set of rules to validate the transactions, in order to achieve consensus. This, therefore, results in a single chain of verified data that everyone agrees is correct, or a single truth. (See also: Coins, Tokens & Altcoins: Whats the Difference? ) A fork occurs when the single blockchain splits into two, either due to: As Bitcoin is a distributed and decentralized network, a fork occurs when miners discover a block at the same time, resulting in two split chains. However, this is a temporary fork Continue reading >>
Hard Forks Vs. Soft Fork
The term fork is one that is often used in the cryptocurrency space. Some people think that when this term is used, it has something to do with the eating utensil. This is both wrong and right. When the term fork is used in reference to cryptocurrency, it generally refers to a split of one cryptocurrency into two distinct cryptocurrencies, or between two versions of the same one. For example, Bitcoin splitting into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash would be one example of a fork. The reason why the term fork is used to describe this type of event is because the structure of an actual fork utensil contains a handle that is a certain length and that then splits into different tines. Forks usually occur when one cryptocurrency is being created from the existing blockchain of another, or when the underlying software of a cryptocurrency is being updated. Forks occur because a group of people simply want to create another cryptocurrency that they believe will be superior to the old one. People create cryptocurrencies either because they believe that they have created one that is better than the original, that serves a different function, or for other reasons. There are two primary types of forks: hard forks and soft forks. A hard fork is when a cryptocurrency is split into two distinct currencies. For example, when Litecoin was created, it was a hard fork which was created from the blockchain of Bitcoin. Once the hard fork is completed, then the two different cryptocurrencies exist as completely separate entities. A soft fork is created when an update is made for a specific cryptocurrency. Soft forks can result in a temporary situation where the community around the cryptocurrency must decide whether or not the updated version or the original version will be the primary variation of Continue reading >>
What Does A Hard Fork Or Soft Fork Mean For Bitcoin And Ethereum?
What Does A Hard Fork Or Soft Fork Mean For Bitcoin And Ethereum? Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that is electronically created using cryptography, and is distributed by miners solving mathematical problems and verifying transactions. Bitcoin cannot be printed by any central bank; instead, it is digitally created and mined using computations on a distributed network (a distributed public ledger, aka a blockchain) that processes transactions hence making Bitcoin its own payment network. Bitcoin was created in 2008 and implemented as open source code and released in January 2009 by the unanimous Satoshi Nakamoto . Bitcoin is an electronic payment system based on mathematical & cryptographic proof. The Bitcoin was created to produce a currency independent of any central authority, more or less instantly transferable electronically, and with very low transaction fees. Bitcoins enable anonymous purchases of merchandise. In addition, Bitcoins make international payments easy and cheap because they are not regulated by any country or bank. Bitcoins favor small businesses since they involve no credit fees. Moreover, Bitcoins are decentralized, non-repudiable, and transparent. Bitcoins software code is free and can be viewed and utilized by anyone. However, current versions of Bitcoin, for those wishing to participate in the Bitcoin network as a miner, node operator, or wallet administrator, need to be updated and changes made to the bitcoin protocol. New features and changing of the core metrics of the protocol can be made. The event of a project spinning off of another project by copying the code base, in open source software development, and running with it, is called a fork . For instance, the cryptocurrency Litecoins developers copied Bitcoins code, made some changes, Continue reading >>
Soft Fork And Hard Fork: Understanding The Difference
Soft fork and Hard Fork: Understanding the Difference You dont need to be engaged in the cryptoverse for long before you hear the terms soft fork and hard fork. To understand what these terms mean, you need to know what a blockchain protocol is. A blockchain protocol is the code convention that defines mining, connection, and transaction rules. A fork is a version of the protocol that is different from the original one. A soft fork is a protocol change with backward compatibility. A typical example would be highway speed. Say, the minimum highway speed was 40 miles, and the maximum was 70 miles, but the traffic authorities decide to change the minimum to 50 miles and the maximum 80 miles. Most people who drive between 55 to 70 miles will not need to make any changes. Only those who are driving below 50 miles will have to speed up. SEE ALSO: Top Blockchain Influencers: Top 10 Blockchain Experts You Should Follow on Twitter The same thing applies to the soft fork. You can still decide to work the same way you used to without immediately upgrading to the new version. An upgrade will only be necessary when you want to work against the new protocol. A hard fork is a protocols parallel universe. Its a similar protocol, but it cant be mixed with the previous one. A typical example of a hard fork is Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash is the hard fork of Bitcoin. Both protocols are split completely. No communication or transaction options link the two together. Bitcoin Cash has a different transaction history from Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash was created to fix the deficiencies of Bitcoin. It is less decentralized and has faster transaction speed. When Bitcoin Cash became a separate currency all those that owned Bitcoins before Bitcoin Cash where credited with the same amount Bitcoins Cash in Continue reading >>
In Het Kort: Hard Fork Vs. Soft Fork
Bitcoin is een protocol: een set van regels waar iedereen in het netwerk zich aan houdt. Soms verschillen de meningen over wat de regels zouden moeten zijn. Het kan dan voorkomen dat verschillende groepen een andere toekomst zien voor Bitcoin. Wanneer dit leidt tot twee verschillende implementaties kan er een fork ontstaan. Een fork in software development betekent dat de broncode gekopieerd wordt en door een andere partij wordt aangepast. Binnen Bitcoin is een fork het splitsen van de blockchain in twee of meerdere richtingen, waardoor nieuwe blocks van de ene chain niet meer geaccepteerd worden door de andere. Bij Bitcoin valt er onderscheid te maken tussen twee typen forks: soft fork en hard fork. Kort gezegd kan je stellen dat bij een soft fork in Bitcoin de regels in het protocol strenger gemaakt worden en bij een hard fork juist versoepeld. Dit klinkt tegenstrijdig, maar het werkt als volgt. Bij een soft fork worden de regels verscherpt: er wordt minder toegelaten dan in de situatie daarvoor. Een voorbeeld hiervan is het instellen van de blockgrootte van 1 MB in 2011. In de situatie voor het instellen van de 1 MB blockgrootte was er geen limiet aanwezig. Door het instellen van de limiet zijn de regels dus strenger geworden; blocks groter dan 1 MB worden niet meer geaccepteerd door de nieuwe nodes. Oude nodes die niet upgraden naar de nieuwe versie hebben geen probleem met de nieuwe situatie: de nieuwe regels conflicteren namelijk niet met de al bestaande regels. Een block van 1 MB "past" binnen de regels van de oude nodes, updaten is dus niet per s nodig. Dit is een soft fork. Wanneer de regel wordt gewijzigd van 1 MB naar 2 MB is er sprake van een versoepeling van de regels. In de nieuwe situatie is namelijk meer mogelijk dan voorheen. Wanneer nodes niet updaten Continue reading >>
What Is The Difference Between A Hard Fork And A Soft Fork?
What is the difference between a Hard Fork and a Soft Fork? Bitcoin's software is open source, which means that the code is free and available for all to view and utilize. However, for those wishing to participate in the Bitcoin network as a miner, node operator, or wallet administrator, updating and maintaining current versions of the Bitcoin software code ranges from important to absolutely necessary. As Bitcoin evolves, some changes need to be made to the protocol. These changes can range from adding new feature sets (such as the enabling of multi-sig) to changing a core metric of the protocol, such as increasing the maximum block size. In open source software development, a fork generally refers to the event of a project spinning off of another project by copying the codebase and running it. For example, the Debian Linux distribution is a fork of the Linux source code, meaning that Debian forked native Linux code and ran a separate project. The cryptocurrency Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin because the Litecoin developers copied Bitcoin's code, made some changes, and launched a separate project. Changes made to the protocol can require either a soft fork or a hard fork of the Bitcoin software. Conducting a fork of the Bitcoin software differs from other open source projects because every user running a Bitcoin node needs to maintain compatibility with the network. If a miner is using a version of Bitcoin software that is not compatible with the version everyone else is using, then they would be mining the wrong Blockchain. However, miners can use different versions of the Bitcoin software and mine the same Blockchain if the different versions are compatible (compatibility is important here). A soft fork is a fork where updated versions of the protocol are backwards c Continue reading >>
An Explanation Of Cryptocurrency Forks
There are two types of cryptocurrency forks: hard forks and soft forks. Hard forks: A hard fork represents a permanent divergence from the current version of a blockchain with nodes on the new blockchain not interacting with or acknowledging nodes or transactions on the old blockchain. Hard forks represent substantial change and create a new blockchain with no transaction compatibility between versions transactions on the old chain are not recognized on the new one, and vice versa. Nodes that continue running the old version of the software will see the new transactions as invalid. To mine valid blocks on the new chain all of the nodes in the network need to upgrade to the new rules. Soft forks: In contrast, a soft fork is said to be backward compatible in the sense that old transactions can be recognized by new nodes. Unlike a hard fork, non-upgraded nodes will still see new transactions as valid. However, if non-upgraded nodes continue to mine blocks, the blocks they mine will be rejected by the upgraded nodes. Therefore, soft forks need a majority of hash power in the network to succeed. When a soft fork is supported by only a minority of hash power in the network, it could become the shortest chain and get orphaned by the network. Forks can either be planned for and guided by the core development team of a project or be initiated by a group of developers dissatisfied with an element of an existing project. The latter is a highly contentious process for hard forks and tends to center around governance issues related to proposed solutions to problems like scaling. For a fork to be successful it is required that developers believe in the new approach and recognize it. In this way, forks are open source and democratic in nature. Forks are regularly proposed, take place Continue reading >>
The Differences Between Hard And Soft Forks
The Differences Between Hard and Soft Forks Many people do not fully understand the difference between hard and soft forks and the implications for the network and ecosystem. Hard forks is a permanent divergence in the the block chain, commonly occurs when non-upgraded nodes cant validate blocks created by upgraded nodes that follow newer consensus rules. Soft forks is a temporary divergence in the block chain caused by non-upgraded nodes not following new consensus rules In the light of recent events, it is high time we discuss the issue of forking including both its benefits and potential catastrophic outcomes, including multiple versions of a coin co-existing in parallel and the various network attacks associated with that. In the simplest terms, hard and soft forking describe two separate ways of updating the cold wallet software when the latest version looks a bit compatibility with the previous versions. This however is not to be confused with a software fork, where someone takes the original project code and modifies in order to create a new product of their own such as Litecoin being a product spin off of Bitcoin. In order to better understand forking, we first need to know what a node is defined as anyone who possesses a copy of the blockchain, as they'll be playing a very important and integral role in these processes. A soft fork is a backward compatible method of upgrading the cold wallet software and defined as a temporary split in the blockchain that occurs when these new rules are implemented. The original chain contains blocks from non-upgraded nodes, however it will also accept blocks generated by the upgraded nodes. Meanwhile, the forked chain contains blocks only from upgraded nodes which have chosen to actively support the new rules and the soft for Continue reading >>
Soft Fork Definition | Investopedia
In terms of blockchain technology, a soft fork (or sometimes softfork) isa change to the software protocol where only previously valid blocks/transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes will recognize the new blocks as valid, a softfork is backward-compatible. This kind of fork requires only a majority of the miners upgrading to enforce the new rules, as opposed to a hard fork which requires all nodes to upgrade and agree on the new version. New transaction types can often be added as soft forks, requiring only that the participants (e.g. sender and receiver) and miners understand the new transaction type. This is done by having the new transaction appear to older clients as a "pay-to-anybody" transaction (of a special form), and getting the miners to agree to reject blocks including these transaction unless the transaction validates under the new rules. This is how pay to script hash (P2SH)was added to Bitcoin . A soft fork can also occur at times due toa temporary divergence in the blockchain when miners using non-upgraded nodes violate a new consensus rule their nodes dont know about. Soft forks don't require any nodes to upgrade to maintain consensus since all blocks with the new softforked in rules also follow the old rules, therefore old clients accept them. Soft forks cannot be reversed without a hard fork since a soft fork by definition only allows the set of valid blocks to be a proper subset of what was valid pre-fork.If users upgrade to a post-soft fork client and for some reason a majority of miners switch back to the pre-softfork client, the post-softfork client users would break consensus as soon as a block came along that didn't follow their clients new rules.In order for a softfork to work, a majority of the mining power needs to be running a client Continue reading >>
What's The Difference Between A Hard Fork And A Soft Fork? - Coinreviews.io
Whats the Difference Between a Hard Fork and a Soft Fork? Crypto can be confusing sometimes. Just when you think you've got this blockchain thing figured out, people start talking about kitchen utensils! But never fear. Crypto forks just like real-life forks are actually pretty simple. In the context of software development, a fork is a new software project that's built on the base of an existing project's code. If you were a developer looking to create a messaging app, for example, you might find some open-source code for a messaging app and then fork it, copying the open-source code but adding some of your own unique features and modifications to create a new, distinct piece of software. Blockchain is software, and forks work the exact same way on the blockchain. So a Bitcoin fork, for example, is any project that's based on Bitcoin's code and blockchain, but that diverged from it to create a new blockchain project that's similar to but operating on separate chain from Bitcoin. Since a blockchain is a time-based ledger of transactions, blockchain forks often diverge from a specific block. Bitcoin Cash, for example, is a fork of Bitcoin that diverged from Bitcoin at block 478558. That means that if you compared the BTC and BCC ledger at any point prior to that block, they'd look exactly the same. But after that block after the fork they'd look different because they're separate chains. BCC's chain prior to block 478558 is for all intents and purposes a copy-pasted version of Bitcoin's chain. In general software development, the reason you might choose to fork a project is that you want to change something. The same is true of blockchain forks: they happen because developers want to change the rules of a chain, add features that the core developers won't, or remove fea Continue reading >>