Soft Fork and Hard Fork in Simple Words
Many people do not want to understand the subject of cryptocurrency, because they think it is very difficult, and to understand how everything works, it is necessary to spend a lot of time. Indeed, for an unprepared person, some terms may seem very complicated: blockchain, hard fork, soft fork, etc. Of course, if you want to learn how to code, create algorithms or new cryptocurrencies, then you need to get a profile education, which will take more than one year. But if your goal is a trivial desire to understand the basics, then you will need to read just a couple dozen guides, which, by the way, you can find on our website. In this material, we will tell you in simple words how hard fork differs from soft fork, and also recall the main Bitcoin hard forks.
1. What is soft fork?Soft fork is the process of software updating or changing the code of a particular cryptocurrency. When conducting softfork, there is no need for a total replacement of computer software that ensures the operability of the coin network. All innovations that are made during the soft fork have full compatibility with older versions of the network. This means that if the coin creators want to cancel this update, they can do it without any problems. To make it clear for an ordinary person who does not understand the nuances of the blockchain's work, let us draw an analogy with the denomination of the ruble of the Russian Federation. In 1998, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation artificially raised the rate of the national currency in 1000 times. But after that, old-style banknotes were still in use for some time. If the Central Bank specialists considered this experiment unsuccessful, they could have easily canceled it and returned the previous exchange rate of the ruble. Basically, soft fork is conducted because of the need to improve the network, as well as the liquidation of detected errors. During these updates, there is no change in the basic principles of the network.
2. What is hard fork?Cryptocurrency hard fork is a cardinal change of the blockchain network code, which implies the lack of compatibility with older software. Roughly speaking, in the process of carrying out hard fork, a completely new cryptocurrency is being created, which cannot work with the old version within the same network. After hard fork, an alternative blockchain is created and it works on a completely different principle. To simplify the process of understanding the above information, let's also give an analogy from real life. Most people know that the euro currency has now been entered as legal tender in the European Union. Its introduction began in 1999. In the process of development, the euro has stopped to depend on the franc or dychmark and has become an absolutely independent currency. The main reasons why developers spend cryptocurrency hard fork:
- implementation of improvements that require major changes;
- elimination of major bugs;
- a desire to create a new cryptocurrency based on an already working product.