Hard Forks and Soft Forks in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Other Cryptocurrencies
In simple terms: A hard fork is when a single cryptocurrency splits in two. It occurs when a cryptocurrency’s existing code is changed, resulting in both an old and new version.
- With a soft fork, the two versions of the software are meant to be compatible.
- With a hard fork, the two versions of the software are meant to be incompatible.
So both fork types create two different versions of the software (and therefore two different versions of the blockchain and two different versions of the coin AKA token), but a hard fork is meant to create two incompatible blockchains/tokens, while a soft fork creates two compatible versions of the software and token.