A fork is where previously valid blocks are invalidated, creating a second blockchain that ‘forks’ from the original.
The original blockchain would theoretically continue from the site of the fork, but the latest blocks would not be valid on the new blockchain.
Soft forks are often used to upgrade coins or tokens, as well as implement new functionalities or improved features.
Hard forks occur after a notable event in the life cycle of the blockchain. In great enough numbers, miners can call for a hard fork to alleviate the implications of whatever riled them.
When millions of dollars in Ether was stolen from the DAO fund in Summer 2016, the community demanded a hard fork, to ensure the situation was reversed.
The blockchain left behind became Ethereum Classic, a coin that has not done as well as its hard-forked cousin, which of course became the Ethereum we know today.
This lesson should have given you a solid insight into how blockchain technology is changing the face of millions of people and businesses.
The implications of a decentralized distributed ledger that is unalterable, transparent and at the forefront of digital technology are massive, with a wide-ranging array of applications.
After going through this lesson thoroughly, take the quiz and test your knowledge of blockchain technology.