Ahh, the horror.
Experiencing a fork can be one of the greatest moments of anyone's life. That is, if you know how to harness it.
Back in the day when it was only Bitcoin that was the king of the hill, there were a bunch of critics that didn't like some features about Bitcoin.
The thing is, not everyone would agree all the time. This was the case here.
They didn't like that Bitcoin had such small block sizes. They didn't like the slow transaction speed. They didn't even like the name.
So they decided to create their own cryptocurrency, but based off of bitcoin.
So technically, they still run on the same blockchain, but they're different from each other.
Is there an easy way to understand this? Yep.
Imagine if you live in a town where only strawberry ice cream is sold. You eat it everyday of your life, but one day realise that your stomach deserves more.
So you decide to take a part of that strawberry ice-cream, and mix it with prune juice, add some cinnamon and mix it all together with whole fat milk. Then you throw on some lime juice, as well as some tomato juice, because why not.
You then decide to call your horr- sorry, wonderful creation "straw-BURRY ice-cream".
That's exactly what a hard fork is. You take the base cryptocurrency, and don't change too much about it. But it is overhauled to suit the needs of the new community.
A lot of hardforks have happened on Bitcoin's blockchain. These have produced so many Bitcoin alternatives, like Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Satoshi's vision, Bitcoin Gold, Litecoin, RavenCoin and a host of others trying to make Bitcoin better.
Hard forks are generally meant for good, but at times they do more harm than good.
Take for example the Muir Glacier hard fork that happened on the Ethereum blockchain. That dumped the price so hard that even I started getting cold feet. I even wrote a post titled "Ethereum is in trouble" on my blog here. I was really scared.
However, the price has since recovered, but other cryptocurrencies might not be so lucky.
Concluding, that's the basic idea of what a hard fork is. I hope you learnt something new!
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