Hard Fork (Blockchain)

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Definition of 'Hard Fork (Blockchain)'

A hard fork is a radical change to the protocol rules of a blockchain network that results in a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain. This can occur when the majority of network participants agree to adopt a new set of rules, or when a minority of participants decide to continue using the old rules.

Hard forks are often used to introduce new features or functionality to a blockchain network, or to fix security vulnerabilities. However, they can also be used to split a network in two, creating two separate blockchains with different rules. This can happen if there is a disagreement among network participants about the direction of the network, or if a group of participants wants to secede from the main network.

Hard forks are a controversial topic in the blockchain community. Some people believe that they are necessary to ensure the long-term growth and development of blockchain technology, while others believe that they are disruptive and can lead to instability.

There are a number of different ways to hard fork a blockchain network. The most common method is to create a new blockchain with a different set of rules, and then mine new blocks on the new chain. This can be done by a group of miners who are unhappy with the current rules, or by the developers of the blockchain itself.

Another method of hard forking is to change the rules of the existing blockchain. This can be done by a majority vote of network participants, or by a group of miners who control a majority of the hash power on the network.

Hard forks can have a significant impact on the value of a cryptocurrency. If a hard fork results in the creation of two separate blockchains, the value of the cryptocurrency on each chain may be affected. This is because investors may be unsure about which chain will be more successful in the long run.

Hard forks are a complex and controversial topic. There are a number of factors to consider before deciding whether or not to support a hard fork. It is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks of a hard fork before making a decision.

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