First of all we will talk about fork and then we will talk about fork in the Bitcoin.
What is Fork?
I’m simple words Fork is a process to eliminate the bug from the existing Blockchain program.
Mostly people knows very well about the Fork of Bitcoin and Ethereum but probably they don’t know about the actual thing what happened that time.
Fork can’t be a part of something good ( improvement program) , it can be accidental.
Reasons of Fork ?
There may be two reason of Fork in a Blockchain algorithm.
First reason is accidental , it can occur just by accident. When two miners mines the same block then accidental fork occur. But it remains for short time. The miner which mines the block in longer chains of block will win the battle and alternative chain will eliminate automatically by the Blockchain program.
Second reason of Fork is need of improvement, known as intentional. When any bug found by the team in the Blockchain program then the developers of the Blockchain forced that algorithm of Blockchain to go through FORK.
In this fork they either remove that bug part by creating a new chain or re-script if possible , which is less possible in many cases.
Types of Fork
There are two types of Fork . One is Soft Fork and second one is Hard Fork.
The rules to mine the block should be same for all the miners. If some miners will not follow new updated rules then the data which are getting out from the mining node by the old rule follower will be invalid data value for updated nodes.
It is interesting to know about the fact that, before the updation of the new mining rule to update the nodes, Team of the Blockchain program asks to all the miners whether major of the miners are agree or not to follow new rules. If 50.1% of the miners are agree and 49.9% are not then they will pass the new rule to update the mining nodes to follow new rule otherwise not.
This is a case where old miners can’t work anymore with old software based system , they are totally forced to upgrade the software to mine the block with new rule otherwise their all mining nodes will be useless.
This is a situation which is similar to the Soft Fork but here miners are not restricted to follow new rule. If particular group of miners will mine block with old rules and other with new rules then this may result in the permanent split in the Blockchain algorithm.
Solution of Hard Fork is only to upgrade the software by the old miners parties. Otherwise Hard Fork became a permanent part of Blockchain network.
At this stage dramatic situation will arise for people to follow which Blockchain , newly generated or old one because both are the part of the existing Blockchain program.
At this end it is duty of team of the Blockchain crypto currency to explain their users that which chain will they follow and support or they will follow both of them.
In Bitcoin history almost 44+ forked happened but most of them are almost unknown or they are not revealed accurately by the team of Bitcoin.
Since first hard Fork in Bitcoin occur at 12 march 2013, but the resulted forked coin not launched by team.
In the very starting of intentional fork of Bitcoin in year 2017 , team of Bitcoin was suspicious about the process of fork they were not 100% sure that what will happen. But after Bitcoin cash they did many fork without any prior notice to the users.
list of all forked of bitcoin click here
The first Ethereum intentional Fork happened in year 2016.
The main reason of Ethereum fork was to generate a new coin.
Vitalik Buterin is Russian-Canadian programmer and co-founders of Ethereum
Old Ethereum is now known as Ethereum classic ( ETC).
So In this way Vitalik uses the process of fork to fight with hackers. Here we can imagine , if hacker have that Ethereum in this present time than he will be very rich but unfortunately he will not be because he is with ETC coin which is not having a a decent value like Ethereum.
Here people will say if hacker steal Ethereum then after fork he will also get Ehtereum new coin , but it is not the reality because it was all planned.
Vitalik uses his mind and kept his eye on the transaction of that amount of Ethereum coin which was steal by the hacker and he did fork in Ethereum but revealed after some time gap so that hacker left his actual wallet where he stored ETH coin. History about Ethereum to Ethereum classic fork to fight against the thief , we don’t know how much real. But this was the article which was shared at Dark web and People were sharing and doing conversation about this topic continuously at that time.
And we think that hacking of Ethereum by hacker and Action by Vitalik made Ethereum more trusted for the present time users.
Advantage of Fork in Blockchain
- Upgrading the existing technology: Every time new new types of ideas enters in this field of technology and new new things needed to implement which is not possible with the existing technology , so through FORK a team can implement new updates easily.
- Terminating the bug: As all of us knows very well that no one thing made 100% perfect . Same thing with Blockchain technology also . There may be vulnerability in the coding of blockchain script. So they can be fix through forced/intentional Fork.
- Solve Hacking Problem : Sometimes it remains not easy to stop hackers to steal cryptocurrency from exchange , because exchange can’t give that much security which we can get in Blockchain wallet directly. So if any coin will be steal by hackers then the team can force all miners to update their existing software to old ones , so that the new Blockchain algorithm became useless for hackers.
- Reverse the Blockchain algorithm : If a team of Blockchain coin want to reverse all the coins which were transferred in past then they can do it by going through fork and in that situation they can reverse the transaction but it is not happened in history Because there are many issues beside hackers transactions there are numbers of valid transactions between users of that coin.
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