An Arms Race Quietly Unfolds in Space The New York Times

bitcoin hard fork

Opponents currently have doubts mainly about the safety of cross-chain assets, and how to ensure that miners do not commit evil when computing power is centralized. This type of split in a blockchain network happens when an update is made to the blockchain protocol but not all of the network participants, or nodes, agree to adopt it. Blockchains can experience two main types of forks — a soft fork or a hard fork. In this article, we’ll explore why forks happen and more specifically, the difference between a Bitcoin soft fork and Bitcoin hard fork. With a soft fork, only one blockchain will remain valid as users adopt the update. Whereas with a hard fork, both the old and new blockchains exist side by side, which means that the software must be updated to work by the new rules.

bitcoin hard fork

Bitcoin is very limited in this sense as it can only process an average of 7 transactions per second. This is one of the things that are currently letting Bitcoin down — if it is going to be used as a global payment system, it must improve its scalability performance. Bitcoin Cash allows blocks of 32 megabytes and did not adopt the SegWit protocol.

What Is a Cold Wallet?

A hard fork is a kind of division, but division is also a kind of growth, seeking opportunities from different paths. For Bitcoin supporters and fans, the hard fork experiment is a search for solutions rather than a breakdown. Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author does not own cryptocurrency.

bitcoin hard fork

Bitcoin Gold differs from other networks in the way its proof-of-work consensus algorithm works. Thanks to the Equihash hashing algorithm, Bitcoin Gold is easier to mine with GPUs than cryptocurrencies on other networks. Bitcoin Core, for example, is mostly full of ASIC miners, which are specialized chips made exclusively for the SHA-256 hash algorithm. ASICs often run out  competition since they are much more costly to operate than traditional GPUs. Anyway, now that’s out the way, we can take a look at some upcoming forks. Both of the below upcoming BTC forks are still in the development stage, so we don’t have an exact Bitcoin forks date yet, nor is any of the pre-released information final.

A History of Bitcoin Hard Forks

On the other hand, as the maximum block size was increased by eight times, it allowed the Bitcoin Cash blockchain (or Bitcoin fork) to scale more transactions. Scalability (or scaling) is the maximum amount of transactions that a particular blockchain can process every second. When Bitcoin XT declined, some community members still wanted block sizes to increase. In response, a group of developers launched Bitcoin Classic in early 2016. Unlike XT, which proposed increasing the block size to eight megabytes, classic intended to increase it to only two megabytes.

bitcoin hard fork


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