What is a hard fork?
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.
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