Soft Fork: What does it have to do with Blockchain?


Since it was first introduced to the world, the blockchain technology industry and cryptocurrency, aka cryptocurrency, have created various new terms. Of the various terms, one of them is a fork, which is completely unrelated to cutlery. This term is commonly found in cryptocurrency base software, including Bitcoin. So, what is a Bitcoin soft fork, huh?

Simply put, a Bitcoin fork is a result of making a copy of the Bitcoin blockchain coding done by someone, which is then modify in the coding. Some modifications or changes can a trigger by multiple arguments, for example, hacker attacks, quality improvement, and others.

Most software users are likely close to frequent improvements and enhancements to make their programs more effective. Like with software, blockchain continues to make improvements to its system to increase its effectiveness when used by multiple users. This process of improving the blockchain is called a fork. The fork itself consists of two, namely soft fork and hard fork.

Understanding Blockchain Forks

A blockchain is like a collection of data blocks link by a secure cryptographic key when a description a made. Therefore, you can think of blockchain as a straight path made of blocks connected.

Because the blocks are chain through a consensus occur upon by all the blocks, any improvement in the mechanism requires a change of agreement on all blocks. Thus, instead of rewriting each block, changes to the blockchain are often achieving through a fork.

A fork is an event on the blockchain that will copy the original software and add the desired changes. Since the two blockchains can’t combine, the new blockchain consists of two branches that will make fork-like transfers of a particular blockchain.

What is a Soft Fork?

A soft fork is an improvement on the software system that is more compatible with the old version. This means that users who do not make improvements to the new software can still validate and verify transactions on the network.

Soft forks themselves don’t require nodes on the network update to maintain consensus. The problem is that all blocks on the blockchain follow the old and new consensus rules.

The two cryptocurrency investing assets that have made improvements to this type are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both of them made improvements to the system to implement new functionality and increasing compatibility.

Soft Fork Example

When, for example, a protocol is replaced in a way where the conditions are tightening, which implements a change or adds a role that doesn’t affect any layout, the current version of the block is immediately accepted with the older version of the node. This also does not apply the other way around. The current version, which is more “strict,” will reject the old version.

In bitcoin, it’s good that some miners using older versions will know if their block was rejecting and should upgrade. And as more and more miners upgrade, the chain with blocks will become the longest, which will further add to the abandoned version and make more and more miners upgrade. Since the latest version of the block accept by both the old node and the updated node, the latest version of the block wins out in the end.

This is a soft fork and has happened many times. Initially, Bitcoin did not have a block size limit. The soft fork process met the 1MB limitation because the new provisions were more “strict” than the old ones.

The pay-to-script-hash role, which adds code without changing its structure, can successfully added via a soft fork process. This type of add-on generally only requires most miners to upgrade, which is easy to implement and less annoying.

Soft forks don’t have as much risk as hard forks because merchants and users working on older nodes will read both block versions.

The ongoing Bitcoin soft fork could be due to disagreements that have a temporary or temporary nature in the blockchain. For example, a miner using a node that has not been upgrading violates the new consensus terms without recognition.

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