A hard fork is a protocol change to a blockchain network that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid (or vice-versa), and as such requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software. This creates a permanent divergence in the blockchain, commonly referred to as a “fork” in the blockchain network. This means that after a hard fork, the network splits into two separate blockchain networks with different rules and protocols.
When a blockchain network undergoes a hard fork, users who continue to use the older version of the software will no longer be able to validate transactions on the new blockchain network. They will have to upgrade to the new software in order to continue participating in the network.
Can Hard Fork be implemented?
There are several reasons why a hard fork may be implemented, including:
- To fix a security vulnerability: A hard fork may be implemented to fix a security vulnerability in the blockchain network.
- To implement new features: A hard fork may be used to implement new features or functionality in the blockchain network.
- To reverse a transaction: A hard fork may be used to reverse a transaction that was made in error or was fraudulent.
- To change the consensus algorithm: A hard fork may be used to change the consensus algorithm of a blockchain network.
When a hard fork happens, it can lead to the creation of two separate blockchains. The original blockchain continues to function as it did before the fork, while the new blockchain operates under the new rules. This can lead to a potential scenario where two separate digital assets can be created, one for each blockchain.
It’s worth noting that hard forks can be controversial and may lead to community splits. It’s important to carefully evaluate the reasons for the fork and its potential impact before deciding whether or not to participate in the new blockchain.