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WHAT: A fork is basically a modification made to open-source code. It introduces deviations to how the underlying project works from that point on. Forks can be either soft forks or hard forks.

Hard forks force a blockchain to be split in two by requiring participants to reject blocks that aren’t compatible with the new implementation- essentially creating a new chain. Example: Bitcoin Cash (ABC & BSV).

A soft fork is a blockchain update made without splitting the chain in two. Example: BTC SegWit.

 

REFERENCES:

Diagram: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/infographic-map-bitcoin-forks
https://www.visualcapitalist.com/major-bitcoin-forks-subway-map/ https://cointelegraph.com/explained/segwit-explained

 

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