What are Ethereum Hard Forks?

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What are Ethereum Hard Forks?

Despite Bitcoin stealing everybody’s thunder in recent times, Ethereum (ETH) continues to be one of the most active blockchains and blockchain communities in the world. In this blogpost, we will refresh your memories with what hard forks are and what are some of the up and coming ETH hard forks.

What are hard forks

The simplest way of explaining what hard forks are, we can borrow a simple analogy from your usage of smartphones. Whenever your mobile phone manufacturer rolls out a software update, you have the choice of updating your phone, or not. However, it is usually true that new features and security updates are rolled out together with the new updates. So, missing out on the new mobile phone update can prevent you from enjoying the full capabilities of your phone including better security and performance. The same can be said for hard forks, whenever developers update the blockchain, hard forks are forever split from the existing old blockchain and the old blockchain cannot process or accept new chain’s transactions.

The most well-known example of a hard fork is Bitcoin Cash (BCH). At the time of splitting, developers intended to improve the scalability of Bitcoin (BTC), they therefore proposed to increase the block size. Many users disagreed with the update and stayed on the old chain— so, Bitcoin continues to run on the old chain while some flocked to the new BCH chain which proves to be less popular than the original blockchain – BTC.

Ethereum hard forks

In the past, we have seen some ETH hard forks that caught users’ fancy.

Ethereum Classic (ETC)

ETC is the very ETH hard fork, it was also one of the most controversial in history. In 2016, a vulnerability was discovered within the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) contract which led to approximately 3.6 million ETH being drained from the fund. Because of how the contract was designed, these funds were frozen for 28 days before transferring. In this case, the hard fork occurred so that the development team could take swift action against the hack and get the money back. Finally, the developers decided to go through with the hard fork, while the old blockchain became known as Ethereum Classic.

Serenity/Ethereum 2.0

Often regarded as Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum Serenity is the last significant step in the crypto’s development. It has one goal and one goal only: to complete the transition from the PoW system to PoS.

Serenity is a huge milestone as it would change the entire landscape of Ethereum. According to their roadmap, “pure PoS” should be coming to Ethereum some time in 2021.

The Horizon of Serenity

All Ethereum hard forks have played massive roles in making ETH what it is today; there’s no doubt about that. With the following updates bringing in a shiny new PoS system, the future certainly seems bright for Ethereum with the exact usages being unknown for now.

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Disclaimer: The content herein is not, and is not intended to be, legal, financial, investment, or other advice.


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