In cryptocurrency, the most important element which is must for every crypto enthusiast is blockchain. Now while discussing this term, it does include essential terms like nodes, divergence, and so many other terms. Blockchain is popularly understood to be a digital ledger system, where the functioning of major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, takes place. But there is one more term which is essential to know is forking. It will clear your idea about the difference between a soft fork and a hard fork. But before we proceed to know about the difference between these two, it is essential to understand the term forking.
By forking, we mean a situation, where technical updating of own codes becomes the need of cryptocurrency project. Now the application of these updates can vary to the project backend with no service change. Or contrary to it, the scope of the original project might get changed fundamentally. In forking, there is always a temporary or permanent divergence in blockchain. In other words, we can understand forking as a split of blockchain in two branches. It results in changes in software and consensus algorithm. This nature of changes brings two new categories – soft fork and a hard fork.
Know The Difference Between A Soft Fork And A Hard Fork
To know the difference between a soft fork and a hard fork, let us get to know about the former fork. When a change to software protocol is kept backward, then it becomes the possibility of the soft fork to happen. This implies the meaning that it will abide by new rules. But the old rules won’t be intercepted and will continue to be followed by an original chain. A soft fork will continue to follow the old rules also. Soft forks need the majority of the miners to enforce new rules up-gradation. Whereas in a hard fork, nodes are required to accept the latest version. This brings the difference between a soft fork and a hard fork.
In soft forks, there is always an addition of new types of transaction for the understanding of miners, senders and receivers. This process is made possible by bringing the new transaction to older clients in a special form of transaction, which is ‘pay to anybody’. Miners are being agreed for block rejection. But it happens till the validation of transaction into new rules. If there is the temporary divergence in the blockchain, then it is possible to see the appearance of a soft fork. It happens with the violation of new consensus rule by the use of nodes which are not upgraded by the miners.
Now let us come to know about the hard fork. In this type of fork, the newer version does not support the previous versions of the blockchain. It does not allow nodes to follow the previous version. It is mandatory for all miners and nodes who wants to be on the new forked chain to accept the latest protocol software. This generates two theories of the fork. The former follows the new blockchain, whereas, the other which continues to follow the older and new path. A hard fork is known to be permanent divergent from old blockchain version.
This is how you can understand the difference between a soft fork and a hard fork. The concept of forking is very important to know if you are a newbie to the cryptocurrency world. It is as essential as blockchain technology. In this contemporary world, we can see the constant evolving of cryptocurrencies. So it becomes important to understand the foundations of the functioning of space. If there is an important fundamental issue in blockchain, then it is forking. The entire scope of the project can be moulded by it. You might fall into a position where you have to choose the particular path for an upcoming fork while exploring the crypto space.