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Crypto Terms:  Letter H

What is Hard Fork (Blockchain)?

Meaning:
Hard Fork (Blockchain) - a massive change to a protocol that happens when a blockchain splits into two blockchains.
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Let's find out Hard Fork (Blockchain) meaning, definition in crypto, what is Hard Fork (Blockchain), and all other detailed facts.

A hard fork is an extensive change to a protocol that happens when a blockchain splits into two blockchains and it usually results in the creation of new digital currencies. A hard fork causes permanent changes that are not backward compatible, which means that all nodes must be upgraded because the old version of the software will not operate with the new one.

Even if the transaction history and parameters are identical before the hard fork, the history of both networks separates after the event, and any activity beyond the fork has no impact on the other.

Hard forks can be done intentionally or occur due to bugs or errors in the blockchain. When hard forks are done intentionally, they are announced to the cryptocurrency community in advance. The crypto community widely debates hard forks trying to determine their benefits and drawbacks when changing particular project characteristics (usually rewards and hard cap, block size, or any other).

For example, in 2017, there was a proposal to hard fork Bitcoin to increase its block size from 1 MB to 8 MB. This would change the speed and the amount of the transactions. However, the vast majority of the community opposed this idea and that’s why a part of the community split and created Bitcoin Cash (BCH). 

After that, BCH had a few of its own hard forks that created Bitcoin Cash ABC (BTCA) and Bitcoin SV (BSV). Besides, the latest hard fork, which happened in 2020, created a new chain called Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN).

Talking about Ethereum, it experienced an unplanned hard fork in 2020 as its developers failed to properly communicate unscheduled changes to their community and infrastructure providers, causing the infrastructure provider Infura to run old and conflicting software. Besides, in 2016, Ethereum suffered a huge hard fork in response to DAO's replay attack, which resulted in the original chain operating as Ethereum Classic.