A hard fork is a change to a cryptocurrency protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid, and therefore requires all users / software to upgrade. It could be any alteration to a coin which changes the block structure (including block hash), difficulty rules, or increases the set of valid transactions. You can think of a hard fork as a change of rules.
Free and open source software may be legally forked without prior approval of those currently developing, managing, or distributing the software. In free software, forks often result from a schism over different goals or personality clashes. In a fork, both parties assume nearly identical code bases, but typically only the larger group, or whoever controls the Web site, will retain the full original name and the associated user community.
The Steem Blockchain has an innovative Witness-based system that allows improvements to be made to the protocol more rapidly than other blockchain protocols. All that is necessary for a Steem hardfork is for the top 20 witnesses, who are chosen by the users, to adopt the changes based on their assessment that the code is bug-free and does not pose a threat to the security of the blockchain.
Unlike a softfork, a hardfork is not backward-compatible: unupdated nodes will not recognise the new blocks as valid.
- Bitcoin Wiki : https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Hardfork - Retrieved in August 4th, 2017
- Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_(software_development) Retrieved in August 4th, 2017
- Steem : https://steem.io
- Github : https://github.com/steemit/steem
- Steemit's #hardfork tagged posts : https://steemit.com/created/hardfork
- @steemitblog : Patience with the Hardfork - There Must Be Consensus March 2017
- @steemitblog : Hard Forks 17-18 official announcement March 2017
- @chitty : Find out what’s new on Steem 0.17.0 March, 2017
- @anyx : My opinion on the upcoming v17 hardfork. March 2017
- @meesterboom : HF 18 Incoming! A 9 Second animation March 2017
- @eroche : Hardfork 18 April 2017
- @sykochica : Why Newbies Should be Excited about the Next Hardfork? May 24th, 2017
- @dragosroua : How Hardfork 19 May Impact Steemit May 24th, 2017
- @steemitblog : HF19 "Equality" Coming Soon: Linear Rewards! June 19th, 2017
- @steemitblog : Proposing Hardfork 0.20.0 “Velocity” June 22nd, 2017
- @dan-atstarlite : The Steembirds: Hardfork 19 (music video) July 13th, 2017
- @calamus056 : Extensive stats comparison pre-HF19 and post-HF19 August 1st, 2017
- @ericvancewalton : HardFork (An Original Poem) August 4th, 2017
- Coindesk : Steem Witnesses Freeze $3.2M in Latest Tit-for-Tat With Hard Fork Insurgents Written by Brady Dale, published in 4/5/2020
- The Dollar Vigilante : Steem Hard Forks & Now People Are Making Even More Money On The Blockchain Based Social Network Steemit Written by Jeff Berwick (@dollarvigilante), published in 6/21/2017
- Lightrains Technolabs : What is meant by forking in a Blockchain? Written by Nikhil Mohan, published in 6/16/2017
- Coindesk : A Short Guide to Bitcoin Forks Written by Amy Castor, published in 5/27/2017
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