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March 8, 2023

What is a fork in crypto and why does it happen?

A crypto fork happens whenever a community in the crypto market wants to change the blockchain’s protocol. This means that the straight path will now have a fork because of the idealistic clash between people’s perceptions of the chosen asset. 

The crypto market has significantly changed since Bitcoin was launched and one of the primary reasons has been the forks. People have disagreements regarding their favourite cryptocurrencies which lead to the creation of forks. 

The forks have opened up new opportunities for people around the world. The new crypto assets have resulted in support for other projects and some have even become useful payment methods across many platforms. Among those platforms, the Bitcasino live casino should be one of the most popular destinations. 

You will have tons of options to choose from where to use your favourite crypto assets like your meme coins or the forks that have worked out well.

The history of crypto forks

As the top crypto asset, Bitcoin has been at the top of the industry since 2009. It is also an open-source code which means that people can change something within the code that can affect the asset worldwide. 

It has maintained its grip on that top spot for a long time but members of the community had some issues with Bitcoin through the years. The first notable fork for Bitcoin was Bitcoin XT which was launched in 2014 by Mike Hearn.

Bitcoin XT wanted to make more transactions per second than the original Bitcoin which resulted in a fork. It went from 7 per second to a whopping 24 per second in Bitcoin XT. That required a big change by increasing the block size from 1 megabyte to 8 megabytes which was a big enough change to divide the community which led to the hard fork.

There have been many Bitcoin soft forks too which were small changes within the community that did not require the creation of a new asset. Just take a look at the updates for Bitcoin and other crypto coins and you will see some slight adjustments that help the asset perform better.

Why do forks happen? 

Forks happen because of disagreements within the community. This has become a regular occurrence in the crypto space because people have different ideas and opinions. However, people want an asset to run according to their whims but some just want to stay the course. 

Of course, there are differences between hard forks and soft forks but most of the time, they can be solved amicably with a soft fork. However, if the disagreement is too much and it requires a drastic change, that is where the hard fork comes in. 

These are some of the biggest reasons why people want to do a crypto fork: 

  • They want to introduce new features
  • To address security concerns properly 
  • To fix a dispute in the crypto community
  • To reverse blockchain transactions 

There are some forks where they become the primary asset. Just take a look at Ethereum which had a well-documented hard fork back in 2016 when the original chain stayed as Ethereum Classic while most of the users migrated to Ethereum. 

What are the differences between a soft fork and a hard fork?

Forks have been a mainstay in the crypto industry and it comes into two different types which are hard and soft forks. Here's what you need to know about each of them and how do they differ from each other:

Soft forks

For soft forks, you will only see small changes and upgrades on the network level which can be added to the asset by developers. You will also see no deviations from the original asset because they will stay with the crypto coin. 

Soft forks are the milder of the two options. This means that you won’t see many changes but you will see adjustments. That is the name of the game for soft forks because some people do not want to enact massive changes because they do not want to stray away from the original vision, how they mine, and many more reasons. 

Hard forks

On this side, hard forks are the significant changes that result in other assets. Think of the previous example of Bitcoin XT becoming more focused on getting faster speeds. There are many kinds of projects out there like the Bitcoin forks but Ethereum is probably the biggest example of a successful hard fork. 

Other types of forks

There are other types of forks that you will see in the blockchain space. They are not as well-known as the soft and hard forks but they have purposes too.

  • Codebase fork: With this fork, you can copy the entire code of the software. This means that you can create an entirely new project on a new blockchain.
  • Live blockchain fork: This means that a running blockchain will be divided into two parts or two ways. There are two reasons behind the live forks:
    • Accidental/Temporary fork: Whenever multiple miners mine a new block at the same time, the network might not agree to the choice of a new block. This fork can happen often by more than one party.
    • Intentional fork: This is where the rules of the blockchain are changed by knowing the code of the software and modifying it intentionally. 
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What are the most popular crypto forks?

There have been many Bitcoin forks ever since with the most popular being Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold. Here are some of the other major Bitcoin forks through the years: 

  • Bitcoin Classic 
  • Bitcoin XT
  • Bitcoin Unlimited
  • Segregated Witness (SegWit)
  • Bitcoin SV
  • Taproot
  • Litecoin

However, forks happen throughout the crypto market and not just Bitcoin. Ethereum is probably the best example of a fork working out in the crypto market. However, there are many more that can be linked to Ethereum other than the 2016 change. These are the forks that happened for Ethereum: 

  • Metropolis: This involved plans of upgrading the system for smartphones and security checks.
  • Byzantium: This functioned more as a software upgrade too rather than enacting massive changes to the Ethereum system.
  • Constantinople: There were improvements made for smart contracts and reducing fees while having quicker transactions. 
  • Atlantis: This was a hard fork that required all software users to upgrade their clients to stay with the Ethereum network. There were improvements for security, stability, and the network here.
  • Istanbul: This involved greater network interoperability and reduced processing fees. 

All of these forks were pretty effective for Ethereum because they enacted many changes within the system. This includes the increase in processing speeds, activity volume, and many more.

What are the benefits of crypto forks?

Crypto forks are the way to go to enact changes. Some people want to regulate the crypto market but since that is not on the docket just yet, the community will have to make changes themselves. This is why crypto forks happen that range from small changes to the creation of new assets.

There are many benefits to using these crypto forks because the rest of the market will benefit from the changes that happen, be they small or big. 

  • Network connectivity will improve: With all of the forks, people will have the benefits of using the network more often. That will lead to faster transactions and also the assets becoming more valuable. 
  • Recovering damage from cyber attacks: With forks, there will be a fresh slate for the most part which leads to recovery from the damage that happened in the past. 
  • Good change: It is important to have changed with the forks because the crypto market will only improve if there are more assets out there. It is also crucial that people within the community can learn that change is good for the crypto market. 

How forks continue to change the crypto industry

Ethereum is the best example of a fork positively affecting the asset because it only got better with time. As soon as people saw that forks worked out for Ethereum, there were always discussions within the community about changes they can make to have the best Ethereum possible. 

This has stretched to the rest of the crypto market which can be seen with how the forks continue to change the crypto space. 

Older forks are more stable assets

As long as people can see the positives of having forks, you will see that the older assets that have gone through soft forks or even hard forks, will be more open to helping their assets become more stable. The newer ones are not like that because their community does not want to sabotage their assets by making mistakes.

That is not the case for some crypto coins because Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash become some of the best assets in the world and they were the results of hard forks. On the other hand, soft forks might not be as prominent as hard forks, but there are still positive changes happening within the crypto space because assets have become more stable. 

New forks become innovations

With all of the forks that have worked out, you can tell that people were eager to follow the project’s vision. Every new fork becomes a solid innovation for the crypto market and that has been a positive change for the industry. People are pleased with what they are seeing with the new forks just like what happened with Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. 

As long as people are open to change, further innovations can happen for the crypto market. People should not deny the changes because the forks help with creating new projects and they can help people make the best decisions within the crypto space.

Crypto forks will happen and people should be open to change

With all of the crypto forks that have worked out in the past few years, it is hard to argue against them. People can still maintain the original code and assets but the new project should be open to growing on its own. Just think about the possibilities of that fork becoming a highly-used asset that can be available for gambling sites and usable for a Bitcasino bonus.

Crypto forks will continue to happen almost every day, and as long as people are thinking about positive changes within the assets, that can be a solid shift for the industry in the long-term future.

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