hard fork, soft fork

1. concept

A fork in the context of blockchain technology refers to a divergence in the blockchain, resulting in two or more separate paths. This can occur due to changes in consensus rules, protocol updates, or disagreements within the community.


"The Bitcoin Cash fork in 2017 resulted in two separate blockchains: Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)."

2. hard fork

A hard fork is a type of fork that occurs when the consensus rules of a blockchain are changed in a way that is incompatible with previous versions. This results in a permanent divergence from the original blockchain, creating a new blockchain that operates under the updated rules.

2.1 BCH <-> BTC

"On August 1st, 2017, a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Both blockchains continue to exist independently, each with its own community, developers, and miners."

2.2 BTC <-> BTG

"Bitcoin Gold (BTG) was a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain, but it failed to gain sufficient community and miner support and has since become less relevant."

3. soft fork

A soft fork is a type of fork that occurs when the consensus rules of a blockchain are changed in a way that maintains backward compatibility with previous versions. This means that non-upgraded nodes can still validate transactions, but they may not be able to access new features or functionalities introduced by the soft fork.


"Segregated Witness (SegWit) was implemented as a soft fork on the Bitcoin blockchain, introducing new transaction formats while maintaining compatibility with non-upgraded nodes."

4. impact

Forks can have significant impacts on a cryptocurrency's community, price, and development. They can lead to the creation of new cryptocurrencies, changes in mining protocols, and shifts in user and developer communities.


"The Ethereum Classic fork resulted in two separate communities and development teams, each focusing on different goals and visions for their respective blockchains."

* All terms and definitions may update as the Cryptionary improves.