Forking happens because a set of miners, who create bitcoin, believe that there are more efficient options than the existing bitcoin
In the world of cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, you will often hear the word ‘forking’. So far in bitcoin, two major forks have taken place, which have led to the birth of two cryptocurrencies—bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold. Yet another forking is expected next week. Let’s try to understand forking and its impact.
What is forking?
Forking happens because a set of miners, who create bitcoin, believe that there are more efficient options than the existing bitcoin. Forking implies a splitting of the chain on which bitcoin runs; making it go in a different direction—with different rules than the existing blockchain as the two would now have different visions of bitcoin. “For example, bitcoin cash changed the block size, which means that blocks can be greater than 8 MB while bitcoin continues with 1 MB blocks. When the miners disagree with the existing rules of bitcoin, the blockchain forks or splits into two different blockchains which have different rules,” said Sumanth Neppalli, cryptocurrency and blockchain analyst, Zebpay.