What is a hard fork?

A hard fork is a mandatory update to the part or all of the blockchain protocol. A permanent divergence in the blockchain is created and all nodes running the previous version will not be accepted. This is different to a soft fork as it requires the all nodes must upgrade their software in order to continue transacting on the blockchain. Unlike a soft fork, a hard fork is not backwards compatible.
When the hard fork takes place all the users validating the newest version will continue along a new path and all users validating the old version will continue along the original path.
A good example of this is when Bitcoin Cash was created… a certain percentage of nodes started to support the updates to the protocol which caused the chain to split. All Bitcoin nodes continued on the original Bitcoin blockchain, and a new blockchain was created which became Bitcoin Cash.
Another great example of a hard fork was when the transactions were reversed on the Ethereum blockchain following the hack on the DAO (Decentralized autonomous exchange). Read more on Investopedia here
 bitGuru Hard Fork Diagram

As you can see from the image above, both new blockchain’s contain the same previous transactions. But that is all they share in common, blockchain 1 cannot verify transactions on blockchain 2 and vise versa.

Advantages of  a hard fork

Given the nature of a hard fork it can be quite difficult to pull. Generally, a lot of time goes into this type of update to make sure they do go smoothly. A hard fork can be used for a number of reasons:

  • Updating errors in the previous version of the blockchain
  • To increase block sizes, if there is too much demand at the previous capacity. This could be to speed up the network
  • To increase the supply of the coin
  • Upgrading the network, adding new functionalities to the blockchain
  • Reversing transactions
  • Simply to create a new version of the blockchain, if there is a divide in how the network should run

When used effectively can be very beneficial. While a hard fork will always cause a split in the original blockchain the new blockchain may not be used. If 100% of the nodes enforce the upgrade rules then the other blockchain will exists but not be in use.

Recent cryptocurrency news

FREE XLM With Binance

July 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on FREE XLM With Binance

XLM have had a Stellar year of marketing (Pardon the pun), and have certainly distributed a serious amount of FREE tokens to users via a number of different platform's. If you have missed any [...]

  • binance launch GBP stable coin

Binance Are Launching GBP Stable Coin (BGBP)

July 22nd, 2019|Comments Off on Binance Are Launching GBP Stable Coin (BGBP)

Binance have announced the launch of a GBP stable coin. On 23rd July 2019 at 04:00 UTC, Binance cryptocurrency exchange will officially launch BGBP, one of the only cryptocurrencies pegged to the Sterling Pound. What [...]

$50 FREE Crypto on Crypto.com

July 21st, 2019|Comments Off on $50 FREE Crypto on Crypto.com

Crypto.com is one of the biggest Cryptocurrency platforms in the world. Users can buy and sell Various Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, MCO, Binance Coin and Ethereum. Crypto.com are also launching their own Visa debit cards [...]

ABBC Foundation Deepens Its Lineup of Global Partnerships

May 9th, 2019|0 Comments

ABBC Foundation witnessed huge improvements and continuous development within Q1 2019. Since the official settlement with Alibaba Group, ABBC Foundation established its new R&D facility in the United States to facilitate the soon-to-be-launched Coin Shopping [...]