The Ethereum Bellatrix hard fork has NOW gone live at epoch 144,896, bringing the network one step closer to the eagerly anticipated Ethereum 2.0 “The Merge” upgrade, which is set to happen next week. Let’s take a closer look at what forking is and how it works.
What is Fork
A fork happens when a community makes a change to the blockchain’s protocol or basic set of rules. Basically, they will split the chain producing a second blockchain that shares all of its history with the original but is headed off in a new direction.
What is Soft Fork
A Soft Fork is a change to the software protocol that invalidates only previously valid transaction blocks. A soft fork is backwards-compatible since old nodes will recognise the new blocks as valid. In contrast to a hard fork, which requires all nodes to agree on the new version, a soft fork only requires a majority, instead of all miners upgrading to enforce the new rules.
What is Hard Fork
A Hard Fork is a radical change to a network’s protocol that validates previously invalid blocks and transactions, or vice versa, resulting in two branches, one following a new protocol and the other remaining as it is. A hard fork occurs when nodes of the most recent version of a blockchain no longer accept the previous versions, resulting in a permanent deviation.
A hard fork requires the update of all protocol nodes or users to the latest version. Forks can be started by developers or crypto community members to crowdfund new related projects and cryptocurrency offerings, or to address issues with functionalities in existing blockchain implementations.
For example, In July 2016, the Ethereum network hard forked into two blockchains: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. Ethereum Classic is now a separate cryptocurrency with different technological and philosophical goals.
What is the difference?
After a Soft Fork, only one blockchain will remain valid as users adopt the update. However, with a hard fork, both the old and new blockchains will coexist, which means the software must be updated to comply with the new rules. Both forks will cause a split, but a hard fork results in two blockchains, whereas a soft fork keeps it at one.
What could happen next week after “The Merge” is completed?
The upgrade will mark the end of Proof-of-Work for the Ethereum mainnet, and a full transition to Proof-of-Stake as the consensus mechanism for the Ethereum blockchain on the Beacon chain. The Bellatrix hard fork has just been activated on the Beacon chain, and now only the Paris event remains before Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake.
In the case of new forked tokens, we will monitor the situation closely, evaluate the support they receive, and provide more details in the further announcement on official Bitazza Channels.
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is highly risky; investors may lose all investment money. Investors should study the information carefully and make investments according to their own risk profile.
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