What is Soft Fork in blockchain?
March 1, 2019 6:35 am,
Fork is the split of an already existing model of blockchain into two. The system forks into two different entities. There can be two types of forking, namely Hard fork and Soft fork. Both end up in a split, but are indeed different from each other. A soft fork can be understood as a new protocol that does not boycott or diminish the older version, but eventually everyone upgrades to the newer version. In order for the soft fork to be successful, only most of the users have to upgrade. The system can run with this. But when it comes to hard fork, all of the users have to upgrade to the latest version for the forking to be successful. Another prominent feature of soft fork is that it is backward compatible.
What is a Soft fork?
A soft fork is an updation in software or already existing protocol that can lead to a better and stricter way of administering the blockchain. It does not demand every node to upgrade to the new version. Even though a soft fork doesn’t ask for the users and nodes to upgrade, as more and more users move to the new version, the old blocks get outdated eventually. The most frequent soft forks occur in relation to the increase or decrease in block size. Sometimes there will be a need to increase the block size, and sometimes it is to decrease the block size. Whatever be the case, changes are inevitable in both soft fork and hard fork.
Types of Soft Fork
There are two types of soft forks namely Miner activated soft fork and User activated soft fork. When it comes to miner activated soft fork, the upgrading to new rules are done by the miners. As opposed to this, the user activated soft fork occurs when the new version is adopted by the users without the use of any miners. The security of the system also depends on the number of users and miners that have to accept the changes made. It can help the system protect itself from possible threats and other security issues.
Examples of Soft Fork
Bitcoin is the most famous of all cryptocurrencies of all times. Hence, the forks that occur in Bitcoin gain a lot of public attention. The most prominent fork of bitcoin was its split into bitcoin cash. The latter had a bigger block size leading to quicker transactions. Other soft forks of bitcoin include bitcoin gold, forked in October 2017. There is also bitcoin diamond, super bitcoin and so on. Ethereum is another platform that has undergone a fork. The split of ethereum into ethereum classic was a famous one. The latest split into Constantinople is going to take place soon. This is but a hard fork.