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1. Beginner Course

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  1. 1. What are these cryptocurrencies?
  2. 2. Bitcoin - the story of a technological revolution
  3. 3. Satoshi Nakamoto, who is the creator of Bitcoin?
  4. 4. Vitaly Buterin – the creator of Ethereum
  5. 5. What is Blockchain, and how does it work?
  6. 6. What is an NFT token?
  7. 7. What is money?
  8. 8. Cryptocurrencies vs fiat money, which will win?
  9. 9. What is DeFi (Decentralized Finance)?
  10. 10. DeFi: opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of decentralized finance
  11. 11. What is an altcoin?
  12. 12. Stablecoins - What are they?
  13. 13. Cryptocurrency wallet - what is it?
  14. 14. Why do we talk about bull and bear markets?
  15. 15. Security in the crypto market - what rules are worth following?
  16. 16. What is the seed phrase in cryptocurrencies?
  17. 17. Dogecoin and memecoin - what are they?
  18. 18. What is a Ponzi scheme?
  19. 19. What is a Soft and Hard Fork?
  20. 20. Blockchain - examples of use
  21. 21. Is blockchain safe?
  22. 22. Smart Contracts - what are they?
  23. 23. What is Ethereum? 
  24. 24. Liquidity in the cryptocurrency market
  25. 25. What is cryptocurrency mining?
  26. 26. What is the mining difficulty?
  27. 27. Inflation and its effects on financial markets
  28. 28. What is compound interest, and how does it work?
  29. 29. Cryptocurrency wallet diversification
  30. 30. Blockchain and NFT games - how to make money on them?
  31. 31. Decentralized Apps – what are they?
  32. 32. What is Proof of Work (PoW) and what is Proof of Stake (PoS)?
  33. 33. What is Proof of Burn (PoB)?
  34. 34. What is the Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus mechanism?
  35. 35. What Are Privacy Coins and Are They Legal?
  36. 36. What is CBDC - central bank digital money?
  37. 37. What is Cryptocurrency Airdrop all about?
  38. 38. What are the types of blockchain networks?
  39. 39. Key differences between ICO, IEO and STO
  40. 40. What is IoT - the Internet of Things?
  41. 41. What is the difference between Circulating Supply and Total Supply?
  42. 42. Everything you need to know about gas fees in Ethereum!
  43. 43. The most important cryptocurrency acronyms/slang you need to know!
  44. 44. Halving Bitcoin - what is it, and how does it affect the price?
  45. 45. What is the Fear and Greed index for cryptocurrencies?
  46. 46. APR versus APY: what is the difference?
  47. 47. Snapshot from the world of cryptocurrencies - what is it?
  48. 48. Know your customer (KYC) and Anti-money laundering (AML) what are they in the cryptocurrency industry?
  49. 49. What is a whitepaper? What is its purpose, and how do you write it?
  50. 50. How do you transfer cryptocurrencies?
  51. 51. What is EURT? How does it work?
  52. 52. What is an Initial Farming Offer (IFO)?
  53. 53. What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi)?
  54. 54. Bitcoin Pizza Day
  55. 55. What Is Stagflation and Why Does It Have a Negative Impact on the Market?
  56. 56. What are decentralized DAO organizations, and how do they work? What are DAO tokens?
  57. 57. CyberPunks - the story of the most popular NFT collection in the crypto industry!
  58. 58. Michael Saylor, Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Maximalist
  59. 59. AI blockchain - a new look into the future?
  60. 60. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) - the story of the popular NFT collection!
  61. 61. Who is Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance?
  62. 62. What is blockchain network congestion, and how does it work?
  63. 63. Azuki NFT collection guide: everything you need to know about it!
  64. 64. Who Is Craig Wright, the Alleged Creator of Bitcoin?
  65. 65. What Is Bitcoin (BTC.D) Dominance?
  66. 66. What is WorldCoin? Everything you need to know about this cryptocurrency!
  67. 67. Who is Brian Armstrong - CEO of Coinbase?
  68. 68. The 10 most expensive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ever!
  69. 69. Web3's most popular social media platforms! Will they replace the platforms we know?
  70. 70. Cryptocurrency wallets: Hot Wallet vs. Cold Wallet - key differences!
  71. 71. Gavin Wood: Blockchain Visionary and Co-Founder of Ethereum
  72. 72. The memecoin story: madness or great investment?
  73. 73. Blockchain versus databases: key differences!
  74. 74. NFT Art: The digital art revolution - history and examples!
  75. 75. Who is Galy Gensler and the SEC? How does the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) affect the cryptocurrency market?
  76. 76. On-chain analysis in the cryptocurrency world: Everything you need to know about It
  77. 77. What are utility tokens and what use do they have in the cryptocurrency sector?
  78. 78. Can you pass on your cryptocurrencies after death? How do you pass on a cryptocurrency inheritance?
  79. 79. What is the Howey test? What application does it have in cryptocurrencies?
Lesson 19 of 79
In Progress

19. What is a Soft and Hard Fork?

The world of cryptocurrencies has many terms that are worth knowing. Especially when you start your adventure with digital assets. The cryptocurrency industry does not stop even for a moment. Every day something new appears in it, which is named differently and also has its own acronym. In today’s lesson, we will have a closer look at two terms that you have surely heard of – Hard and Soft Fork. Ready? Here we go. 

Fork 

We’ll start with… a fork. Although the cryptocurrency fork has nothing to do with it. A fork is when there are changes to the blockchain of a given cryptocurrency. A fork can even cause a new cryptocurrency to spin off from the original one. This happens when some miners do not accept the changes and stay with the old chain, while the rest of them will mine the new one. An example of this happening is the fork on ETH and the creation of Ethereum Classic

Forks can also be economic, e.g., a fork on Bitcoin and the creation of Bitcoin Gold.  The whole change was to privilege GPU miners over ASIC miners. As you’ve also managed to notice, they are divided into Hard Forks and Soft Forks. 

What are forks for? 

Decentralization is the goal of cryptocurrencies. The desire to abandon centralized intermediaries for the storage and exchange of value is the main challenge of the various protocols proposed

All network participants follow similar rules to ensure decentralization. These principles are defined in a consensus protocol. Regardless of the protocol used, whether in Proof of Work or Proof of Stake, each blockchain communicates information in a decentralized manner. 

These consensus rules are used to confirm the validity of transactions and blocks. Nevertheless, the direct involvement of users according to these rules creates the possibility of confronting a blockchain with a Soft Fork or, in the worst case, with a Hard Fork as these evolve. 

Soft Fork 

This is the opposite of a Hard Fork. During a Soft Fork, new changes introduced are backwards compatible with old versions. Imagine a protocol that introduces new rules or some cosmetic change. There is no impact on the blockchain structure. In such a situation, the blocks of the “new version” will be accepted by the blocks of the “old version”, but not vice versa – the improved “new” version of the block will reject the blocks of the old version. This is how a Soft Fork works. 

Let’s use an example – Bitcoin. Its community decided to reduce the size of the current block to 0.5 MB from the current 4 MB. New versions of nodes – those with 0.5 MB, would reject blocks with the old limit (4 MB) and build nodes on the previous block. This behaviour would result in a temporary fork of blocks, which is an example of a classic soft fork. In fact, it has even happened several times. 

In the case of Bitcoin, a soft-fork can occur either via MASF (Miner-Activated Soft Fork) or via UASF (User-Activated Soft Fork). Regularly, the choice between these two solutions is subject to a long debate in the Bitcoin community. 

Hard Fork 

In its case, things get a bit more complicated and require more knowledge, especially blockchain knowledge. It is often referred to as a “fork in the blockchain” or a “branch in the blockchain”. As we know, a blockchain consists of a chain of blocks based on blocks of data. Each new block is valid and only added to the network once it has been validated by miners. Hard Fork is a departure from the last version of the blockchain. It leads to a separation of the chain, so that nodes do not reach consensus and the resulting two versions of the network operate separately. 

Imagine a split on a blockchain, where one blockchain operates under the old rules and the other operates under the new rules. Hard Fork does not work like Soft Fork, so it is not backwards compatible. 

Hard Forks are dangerous because they typically cause the chain to fracture. If there was a split between miners at the same time, the network would be very vulnerable.  Nevertheless, they are essential. They go with the spirit of blockchain technology development and improve a given network or cryptocurrency. Additionally, Hard Forks increase the functionality of the network, nevertheless removing security risks and resolving disputes in cryptocurrency communities. Interestingly – Hard Forks can be accidental. 

Hard versus Soft Fork 

Hard Fork Soft Fork
This is not the only way to update your cryptocurrency software.They are a safer update alternative.
Changes the rules of the blockchain. Adds new features and functions to the chain without changing its rules.
It can result in the creation of a new cryptocurrency.Often used to introduce new features, especially from a developer level.
Changes the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Summary 

The reliability and immutability of blockchain should not make the principles inherent in the evolution of society disappear. Soft fork and hard fork are solutions to overcome technical, economic or social problems that may arise on the blockchain.  Updates have the advantage of constantly ensuring the will of users while respecting consensus. This short lesson allows you to see the differences between hard fork and soft fork. Both definitions are common in the cryptocurrency world, so it is useful to distinguish between them.

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