Crypto forks are viewed as an uncommon event in the crypto world. Some forks are planned, others – consequences of outrageous circumstances. Whatever the case may be or may have been, one thing’s without a doubt – when they occur, there are typically huge changes ahead.
We will cover the meanings of forks as a rule (what they are, the reason they occur, etc). From that point forward, we’ll center around Ethereum forks – when they occurred, what’s changed and what’s on the horizon.
Fork in the crypto world is known as an alteration in that currency’s protocol. There are two types of forks known as delicate forks and hard forks.
Soft forks are the watered-down variant of hard forks. They are referred to as soft on the grounds that they don’t transform anything encompassing the original structure of the protocol or blockchain. Soft forks can be executed by the engineers or creators of the digital currency to perform certain functions, alter something or change a portion of the principles encompassing the blockchain.
Most of the popular and mainstream forks are those which change the size of a particular block. They are regularly carried out by programmers to simplify the mining processes.
These forks become temporary – miners may decide to utilize them, while others can simply dismiss the change and keep mining the more established adaptations of the coin.
Hard forks, on the other hand, are an entirely distinctive story.
Hard forks are huge changes to digital currency. They change the digital money’s protocol itself. In the event that the older version keeps on being used, it will bring about a split from the new version.
Hard forks are generally executed under extreme conditions. Most of the time they are implemented due to a need.
Ethereum Hard Forks
The fundamental motivation behind why we’re explicitly discussing Ethereum Hard forks is that they are so unfavorable and yet important to Ethereum’s prosperity, that it gets difficult to disregard.
Ethereum was released into the crypto world in 2015. It’s like bitcoin, however with a key distinction. Apart from supporting its own currency, ether, it additionally upholds keen agreements, arrangements written in computer code instead of the traditional format that execute naturally when conditions are met.
Ethereum has gotten huge attention from the start, however, its greatest moment came in April 2016, with the Distributed Autonomous Organization, or the DAO. Made by German blockchain startup Slock.it, the DAO had a goal — to build a humanless venture capital firm that would allow the investors to make all the decisions through smart contracts. There would be no leaders, no experts. Just criteria coded by people and executed by computer protocols.
It took off like a rocket and by May 21, 2016, it had raised $150 million from around 11,000 financial backers, in what’s considered the greatest crowdfunding ever.
For Ethereum, it’s was a significant proof of positive support in its innovation, but unfortunately around this point, it got hacked.
On June 17th, 2016, somebody began siphoning cash out of the DAO. Individuals were watching progressively as the cash was taken—like a live video feed of bank burglary. Before the end, the programmer, who said he was simply exploiting a specialized loophole clause in the DAO, had amassed $50 million in ether.
While the core project developers who planned and run Ethereum didn’t actually have anything to do with the DAO, they were left to manage the wreck. The programmers led by Vitalik Buterin chose to hack the programmer and prevent further damage from being done.
They figured out how to stop the robbery and move the assets into another contract. It was a temporary fix that worked because the manner in which the DAO was written, there is still uncertainty if the original hacker can still claim the loot. Fixing this would require more intervention from the core Ethereum designers.
Stepping in to fix the problem has raised concerns for Ethereum. One of its foundational pillars is that it’s decentralized, which means power lies among all users. Stepping in to fix this issue would totally destabilize the entire system. This has caused an argument between people who want the money and those who believe the power of a smart contract lies on its immutability.
The only intervention is known as a “fork.” It’s a decentralized system variant of a reset button. It would involve rolling back the entire Ethereum network. Doing so would essentially eliminate the DAO and move the money into a smart.
There are three primary Ethereum Hard Forks.
– Ethereum Classic
The Ethereum development team discovered that the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that Ethereum had been utilizing had been hacked. Deciding to execute a hard fork that would restore the entire stolen crypto coins was swift, however, that decision got some backlash from the community.
Enthusiasts and hobbyists split into groups. One group was happy that the team behind Ethereum planned to make a fast move and decision and not let the incident pass. A hard fork would imply that the development team has taken time to go back to the drawing board and replan and are presently better prepared for future occurrences.
Many individuals disagreed with the hard fork. They considered this to be an infringement of the key importance of being decentralized. These individuals agreed that the best way to be truly decentralized was to not get involved and basically let anything that happens happen without any interference from the team because doing that will result in a ripple that might have effects in the future.
Finally, Ethereum’s core developers reached a decision to implement the hard fork. Which resulted in one currency being split into two.
Most of the individuals that disagreed with the split ended up with the old version which is currently known as Ethereum Classic.
Currently, there are still two group of individuals in the Ethereum community – the first group believes that the developers were right to fix the issue at the earliest opportunity, while the others support individuals that adhered to their convictions and decided to keep on with Ethereum Classic.
EtherZero is another notable Ethereum fork, with the main fork geared towards improving the blockchain rather than revolutionizing and further improve the transaction speeds. Moreover, this Ethereum fork is determined to make transactions totally free.
Many in the crypto community consider these to be bold ideas. EtherZero is also based on “Proof of Work” – meaning that the only truly powerful way to mine it would be by utilizing GPU sorts of devices. In spite of the fact that it is worth focusing on that there are plans to execute a master node (“Proof of Stake”) framework into this Ethereum fork later on.
Metropolis is the current Ethereum fork. This fork wasn’t implemented as a result of any outrageous happenings or events, however – it’s simply a plan to improve on the current existing blockchain.
Made up of three phases; Constantinople is presently the active phase (Byzantium is considered to have been completed finished).
There are several key features that the Metropolis Ethereum fork plans to improve upon.
As a matter of importance, a ton of the security and privacy-related features will get an upgrade. The current security and privacy features that are on the Ethereum network aren’t bad, however, the new features will be exceptional and will ensure more trustworthy protection during transactions.
Another important change that the Ethereum Metropolis fork aims to implement is a “Proof of Stake” based framework, rather than the current “Proof of Work”.
If this is implemented, this would eliminate Ethereum mining overall. You would only need to stake a portion of your Ethereum coins to be able to verify transactions happening on the Ethereum blockchain and consequently earn revenue.
Mining is a popular activity among crypto enthusiasts, so this is going to be a huge subject of discussion. Despite the fact that the PoS framework would hypothetically hurry and smoothen the cycles occurring inside the organization, such a change would bring about an enormous mining hardware dump into the market.
We should rapidly outline two of the Ethereum Metropolis fork’s stages.
Byzantium was a phase meant to make the Ethereum network safer and better optimized.
Constantinople aims to finish off the processes of Byzantium and then concentrate on one big goal – to prepare the Ethereum blockchain for the transition between PoW and PoS systems. This is a huge goal in of itself and will require quite some time to be fully set into motion.
Ethereum Serenity is considered to be the last big step in Ethereum’s development. Serenity is dedicated to one goal – to transition the Ethereum blockchain from PoW to PoS.
Byzantium and Constantinople are the preparation phases for the PoS switch. During this time, certain transactions will be made via the Proof of Stake consensus to start preparing the system for the transition.
Ethereum Serenity is a huge milestone for Ethereum because it would practically change everything that people are used to when it comes to this crypto’s mining. According to the Ethereum roadmap, the transition to “pure PoS” should happen sometime in 2021, we have our hands folded and are waiting to see it come to reality.