In the crypto industry, we consider cryptocurrency forks an uncommon event. Some are easy, while others are the consequence of harsh circumstances. Whatever the situation may be, one thing is certain: when they arise, major changes are in store. That is why we will discuss the Ethereum fork today.
We will go through general definitions of forks. Following that, we’ll look at the Ethereum splits, including when they occurred, what they altered, and what the future holds.
Before proceeding, keep cryptocurrencies in a secure location at all times. As a result, always select the most secure and dependable crypto wallets.
What exactly is an Ethereum fork?
We refer to a fork in the cryptocurrency sector as a change in the protocol of that coin. This form of modification renders prior versions of blocks legitimate while rendering the present version invalid.
Soft forks and hard forks are the two types of forks.
Soft forks are a softer variation of hard forks. We refer them to as soft since they make no changes to the protocol’s actual structure. The cryptocurrency’s developers or founders can create soft forks create soft forks to do particular maintenance tasks, tweak something aesthetically, or change some of the blockchain’s regulations.
Some of the most common and widely used soft forks are those that adjust the size of a certain block. Developers often use them to improve the efficiency of mining processes.
These forks are just temporary; some miners may opt to use them, while others may simply reject the change and continue mining previous versions of the coin.
Hard forks, on the other hand, are a very other matter.
Hard forks are significant modifications to the coin in question. They change the cryptocurrency’s protocol, rendering prior versions of the system inoperable. If it survives, it will lead to a split from the new version.
We typically use hard forks in severe situations. Founders rarely plan them, and most of the time they develop out of necessity. This makes sense because there are typically no genuine reasons to perform a hard fork is a cryptocurrency that is already operational. However, the term is typical – as you’ll discover shortly, Ethereum is an exception.
Now that we’ve established some common ground and cleared up the language, let’s get to the meat of the matter: Ethereum hard forks.
Hard Ethereum Fork
The major reason we’re explicitly discussing Ethereum HARD forks is that they are so harmful and crucial to Ethereum’s well-being that we can’t ignore them.
The primary three Ethereum hard forks are Ethereum Classic, EtherZero, and Metropolis, and we’ll go through each of them briefly.
This was Ethereum’s very first hard fork. It is also the most contentious of the ETH hard forks.
At some point, the Ethereum development team realized that hackers have compromised the DAO that Ethereum had been employing. The decision to create a hard fork that would return all the stolen cryptocurrency was quick, but it also drew a lot of backlashes.
There are two factions of Ethereum supporters and enthusiasts. The first one made us delighted since it meant that the people behind this coin would respond quickly and not let such a thing happen. A hard fork would show that the developers have learned their lesson and are now better prepared for comparable future hacking or breach efforts.
However, many individuals are against the hard fork. They considered this shift as a breach of the very definition of “decentralized.” This group of people felt that the only way to have a truly decentralized cryptocurrency was to not get involved and simply go with the flow since as soon as the creators started taking action, the cryptocurrency would become centralized.
Finally, Ethereum’s developers carried out their decision to create the hard fork. What was the result? So, one cryptocurrency became two.
Most of those who did not agree with the split remained loyal to the previous version of Ethereum, now known as the Ethereum classic.
Today, there are still two camps in the cryptocurrency community: some believe that the developers were correct to repair the problem as quickly as possible, while others applaud those who stayed true to their convictions and continue to promote Ethereum Classic.
Another well-known Ethereum fork is EtherZero. It is not as radical as Ethereum Classic. But, it targets enhancement rather than revolution.
EtherZero seeks to increase the transaction rate speeds on the Ethereum network. Furthermore, this Ethereum fork will make these transactions entirely free.
Many in the bitcoin community regard these as audacious goals. EtherZero is also a “Proof of Work” fork, which implies that the only fully effective way to mine it is using GPU-based mining equipment. It is worth noting, however, that there are plans to incorporate a masternode (“Proof of Stake”) mechanism into this Ethereum fork in the future.
The current Ethereum fork is called Metropolis. Developers, however, did not establish the fork in response to any severe circumstances; rather, it is part of a plan to strengthen the existing Ethereum network.
Metropolis has three sections. The “Constantinople” phase is now operating.
The Metropolis Ethereum split intends to enhance a few crucial aspects.
To begin with, several privacy-related features will be a part of the Ethereum Metropolis fork. The Ethereum network’s present privacy settings and options aren’t awful, but the new features will be more up to date and will provide more anonymity during transactions.
Another significant feature that the Ethereum Metropolis split wants to make is a consensus-based mechanism based on “Proof of Stake.”
If this is done, it would eliminate Ethereum mining. Instead, you would stake part of your Ethereum coins for the capacity to automatically verify transactions on the Ethereum blockchain in exchange for a set amount of money.
Ethereum mining is a very popular hobby among these crypto coin enthusiasts, thus this is a hot topic. Even while the PoS system would theoretically speed up and smooth out network processes, such a move would cause a major mining equipment dump into the market, perhaps causing price swings in mining rig components.
Ethereum Serenity is the final major milestone in Ethereum’s evolution. Serenity has only one goal: to convert the Ethereum blockchain from PoW to PoS.
The two key phases of preparation are Byzantium and Constantinople. During this period, developers will conduct certain transactions using the Proof of Stake consensus to prepare the system for the changeover.
Ethereum Serenity is a significant milestone for Ethereum since it will alter the way individuals mine this cryptocurrency. The move to “pure PoS” should take place in 2022, according to the Ethereum roadmap.
Ethereum Fork: Conclusion
The world of cryptocurrencies is continually looking for new and diverse methods to develop and improve, whether technologically or informationally.
Cryptocurrency splits are often very contentious occurrences in the crypto community. It depends on what the fork enhances or alters. But, regardless of the goal, people will always have two opinions: those who enjoy it and those who despise it.
Soft forks are more often accepted than hard forks. This is mostly because they do not want to significantly alter the blockchain. Most individuals might even appreciate some soft forks, particularly those with cosmetic-alternating tones.
Hard forks are always a source of contention. We rarely meet them with a one-sided reaction to the changes they bring.
Ethereum splits are fascinating. All three of the hard ones have been critical watershed moments in Ethereum’s history. However, Ethereum Classic was the most contentious – this hard split triggered enormous philosophical debates in cryptocurrency groups throughout the world.
As contentious as Ethereum Classic was, the Metropolis Ethereum fork is important.
Nobody knows what will happen to the economy after Ethereum Serenity activation. Thousands upon thousands of mining rigs, GPUs, ASICs, and other cryptocurrency mining-related gadgets will become obsolete.
People are rarely prepared for such drastic shifts. Naturally, a segment of the crypto mining community will discover specific loopholes and ways out – selling GPUs, renting out rigs, or even starting mining other cryptocurrencies, leaving Ethereum alone.
The last section is most likely Ethereum’s worst-case scenario. All cryptocurrencies are only worth what people will pay for them.
That is why, at least with this Ethereum split, developers have put a lot of planning and effort ahead of time. Serenity will not come out until next year. The development team intends to ease some of the early outrages that this hard fork generated.