What is a fork?
In blockchain technology, the term fork is used when a blockchain network splits into two separate paths.
Generally occurs due to a change in the underlying regulations or protocol of the network.
Types of fork
There are two main types of forks
when a change is made to the blockchain protocol that is backward-compatible with earlier versions of the software is called a soft fork.
This means that nodes running older versions of the software can still participate in the network, but nodes running the newer version will have additional capabilities.
Soft forks are typically used to implement minor changes or updates to the network, such as changes to transaction fees or block size limits.
A change made to the blockchain protocol that isn’t compatible with earlier performances of the software but the rearmost one is called a hard fork. In simple words, that nodes running older versions of the software will be unfit to participate in the new network. Hard forks are generally used to apply more significant changes to the network, similar as modifications to the consensus algorithm or the introduction of new features.
When a fork occurs, there are typically two or more versions of the blockchain network that exist simultaneously.
This can direct to a split in the community and conflicts over which version of the network is the “true” version.
In some cases, the community may come to a consensus.