When Will Ethereum Be Proof Of Stake?

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What is a hard fork?

A “hard fork” occurs when two competing cryptocurrencies, each with its own blockchain based on the same underlying protocol, disagree over what bitcoin’s next block should look like. The disagreement triggers an event that requires all participants in bitcoin to upgrade their software so that they are on the new rules for processing transactions. To highlight this important distinction: no one owns bitcoin; everyone who uses it has agreed to obey certain rules laid out by its decentralized authority of miners and developers called “bitcoin core.” If they don’t agree with soft forks or community consensus, then they have little choice but to stay on the existing rules. But if changes are made via hard forks, ultimately it is those using already upgraded software who will control new historical data about which ledger is correct (or not). This creates highly centralized power that has no democratic process for challenge or reverse engineering (i.e., scalability). Forks can be very disruptive because locked-in users either need to upgrade their software without knowing the full history of the blockchain state of affairs (an expensive target) or become stuck indefinitely in some frozen part of space while waiting for more people to update their software before moving again (a slow