One type of fork, known as the soft fork, results in creating two versions of software, the old and the new, in this case, the old version is usually abandoned.
Those who still run the old version can still participate on the network although they will be missing the new features added in the current version.
What is difference between hard fork and soft fork?
Whenever a chain needs to be updated there are two ways of doing that: a soft fork or a hard fork.
Think of soft as an update in the software which is backward compatible.
What does that mean?
Suppose you are running MS Excel 2005 in your laptop and you want to open a spreadsheet built in MS Excel 2015, you can still open it because MS Excel 2015 is backward compatible.
However, having said that there is a difference.
All the updates that you can enjoy in the newer version won’t be visible to you in the older version.
Going back to our MS excel analogy again, suppose there is a feature which allows to put in GIFs in the spreadsheet in the 2015 version, you won’t see those GIFs in the 2005 version.
So basically, you will see all text but won’t see the GIF.
It is important to mention that there will be no split in the community.
There will be split in the chain, but this split won’t give you new coins.
Simply, both chains will keep running.
However, how time goes, more and more people and miners will be using the new one because it will offer more features and that’s the reason why the old chain will slowly die.
This is similar to updates on your phone.
You can still be using the old version, but some features may not be available.
Sooner or later, you will decide to upgrade your phone to get new features.
Once you upgrade to latest version, you won’t be able to go back to the previous one.
That’s the way the old chain dies as slowly more, and more people upgrade to the new version, and they can’t go back to the old one.
Milos is an independent trader, with a background in journalism and publishing. Nomadic by nature, he’s lived in four different countries this decade. He’s fascinated by Blockchain technologies’ potential to reshape all aspects of our lives. Milos got into Bitcoin while completing his degree and hasn’t looked back since, writing about anything crypto-related. He is the co-founder of the Cryptoaims and he has a strong passion to educate people about this revolutionary technology.