A Hardfork is a fundamental change to the protocol of a blockchain network, resulting in a permanent divergence from the previous version
It essentially creates two separate blockchains with different rules, leading to a split in the community
The reason behind a Hardfork is often a difference of opinion or disagreement among developers, miners, or other stakeholders regarding the network's future direction, governance, or specific rules
When a Hardfork occurs, the original blockchain continues to exist, adhering to its existing protocol, while the new chain starts afresh from the block where the split occurred
One of the most well-known examples of a Hardfork is the split between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash was created in August 2017 as a result of a disagreement over the block size limit within the Bitcoin community
The block size limit determines how much data can be included in each block of the blockchain
While Bitcoin maintained a 1 MB block size limit, Bitcoin Cash increased it to 8 MB, aiming to achieve faster and cheaper transactions
Hardforks can be both planned and contentious or accidental and non-contentious.