Blockchains store information cryptographically, as you might know. The codes of blockchains are normally open-source, and the networks are free to edit and modify. Blockchain forks are secondary chains that contain the history of the original chain when a developer creates a blockchain application upon the base code of another blockchain.
Bitcoin, Ether, and other digital currencies can be stored and managed on a blockchain. Bitcoins can also be stored in specific wallets made for them, Bitcoin wallet.
When it comes to blockchain upgrades, blockchain forks are crucial. The whole chain would have to undergo an upgrade repeatedly if DApp (decentralized application) developers need modifications to facilitate a specific product or service. The solution to this inconvenience is blockchain forks.
In addition to eliminating the need for blockchain upgrades, blockchain forks also keep all developers and end users connected to the main blockchain.
Security is also enhanced by blockchain forks.
Blockchain forks can take two forms:
- Soft Fork
Our first introduction to blockchain forks is soft forks. Soft forks are just software upgrades for the whole blockchain. It’s backward compatible with pre-fork blocks since it’s a single blockchain. In blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum, this method has been used to add new features.
- Hard Fork
The process of creating a new blockchain from an existing one is called a hard fork. As a result, there’s a secondary blockchain for the network since the original set of codes is no longer backward compatible. Blocks from earlier chains stop working on the new chain, resulting in a new cryptocurrency. There are two prominent examples of hard forks: Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
The Reasons For Blockchain Forks –
- Add New Functionality:
There are regular updates to the blockchain code. Open source blockchains are developed by people all over the world. We fix bugs, make improvements, and release new versions when it’s time.
- Fix Security Issues:
As blockchain (and cryptocurrency on top of it) are relatively newly developed technologies compared to traditional currency (notes, coins, checks), research is still being done on it. Basically, versions get bumped and updates are released to fix security issues.
- Reverse Transactions:
If the community finds that all transactions for a specific period were breached and malicious, they can void them all.
Blockchain explorers allow you to search for specific information on the blockchain using their search engine.