What Exactly Are Blockchain Forks?

Adekunle Joshua

Forks are events where a blockchain splits into two separate paths, each with its own set of rules

Hard forks occur when there's a permanent divergence in the blockchain, resulting in two separate chains

It often involves significant changes or upgrades to the protocol

Soft forks, on the other hand, are backward-compatible upgrades to the blockchain

They introduce new rules while maintaining compatibility with the existing network

Forks can lead to the creation of new cryptocurrencies. Examples include Bitcoin Cash, a result of a hard fork from Bitcoin, and Ethereum Classic, born from a hard fork of Ethereum.

Forks can sometimes cause temporary confusion and volatility in the market as users and developers adapt to the changes

Forks often emerge due to disagreements within the blockchain community regarding fundamental protocol changes, scalability, governance, or other factors.