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Author Topic: What is "forking"?  (Read 1083 times)
Bitconian
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January 16, 2013, 09:24:21 AM
 #1

Hi there,

Before I ask here, I googled it but I couldn't find any answer about what is forking bitcoins or forking blockchains.

so, if anyone can throw a bit of light in here to help, I'd appreciate it.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

B.

You can make me smile Smiley
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drakahn
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January 16, 2013, 09:32:03 AM
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a "fork" in software is like a fork in the road, Its still kind of the same road but each fork goes to a different place...

Its a copy of (Generally open source) software

In the bitcoin world a fork would be something like Litecoin...

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January 16, 2013, 09:35:56 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_(software_development)

It would be the equivalent of creating a new cryptocurrency, whose chain is identical to Bitcoin's blockchain up to a certain point (the fork point). From that point on, they're different currencies.

This would happen if the new cryptocurrency has rules which make it incompatible with Bitcoin. For ex, when the block reward halvened, some people had the intention to fork bitcoin and create a cryptocurrency that would always give 50 BTC of inflation per new block. AFAIK they've abandoned the idea.

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January 16, 2013, 09:39:20 AM
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In the bitcoin world a fork would be something like Litecoin...

Although you may say Litecoin is a fork of the Bitcoin software, it is not a fork of Bitcoin's blockchain. AFAIK, Litecoin has its own chain, with its own genesis.

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January 16, 2013, 10:05:28 AM
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Exactly. A fork of bitcoin would be if a group of bitcoin users decided to try to force the whole bitcoin community in a new direction. Unless everyone decided to go along, the fork in the bitcoin block chain would result in the smaller group (minority) being ignored by the larger group (majority).

The bitcoin software ignores a block chain if it does not have 51% or more of new mined blocks.
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January 16, 2013, 02:46:18 PM
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. . . The bitcoin software ignores a block chain if it does not have 51% or more of new mined blocks.
I'm not exactly sure what you are trying to say here, but as far as I can tell you are mistaken.  The bitcoin software ignores a blockchain that does not meet the exact specifications of the protocol.  If it receives 2 blockchains that both use the exact same protocol, it chooses the blockchain that required the most work to complete (highest cumulative difficulty).

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January 16, 2013, 04:38:54 PM
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The bitcoin software ignores a block chain if it does not have 51% or more of new mined blocks.
What??
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