History Of Forks In Ethereum Environment
Since Bitcoin invention, many different cryptocurrencies were created both by enthusiasts and companies. Most of them are subjected to forking because they are based on blockchain. Just like in the Bitcoin network, Ethereum may experience planned forks, accidential forks and forks caused by attacks. Let’s consider in detail several forks of the second most famous crypto platform intended to become the “world computer”.
The DAO fork
The Ethereum history has witnessed several forks but we will start with the most famous one. This is the fork caused by The DAO accident. The DAO was a distributed application constructed on the Ethereum blockchain with the help of smart contracts. A smart contract in the Ethereum environment is a small program that can execute some computing processes, react on external events inside of the blockchain, and send queries to another contracts. Developers can construct distributed application of any complexity by programming contracts which are supposed to interact with each other. Depending on system settings, it is possible to organize voting, elections, investments, exchange, and other applications distributed across the network.
The DAO was created as an investor-directed venture capital fund. Participants were allowed to invest and vote for favourite projects. After voting, a single decision was supposed to be approved by the system.
Unfortunately, in 2016, the project faced serious security problems: the platform code was attacked by hackers. As a result, attracted funds were stolen.
Developers decided to execute a hard fork and return all stolen money to the initial addresses. However, some community members refused to accept this solution. From that point, Ethereum changed its version, while the old blockchain was called Ethereum Classic.
In December 2017, Ethereum Fog was forked from the main network. This project accepted the “decentralized fog” computing technology. The authors claim it is the next-step in the dApp development where the majority of computing activity is moved to end-user devices.
Another fork called Ethereum Modification was performed in December 2017. It has plenty of planned improvements, such as contact templates, internal blockchain, DNS with encrypted distribution, lightning, etc. Unfortunately, as of October 2018, all resources related to the project are either unavailable or rarely updated.
The EtherZero hard fork was completed in January 2018. Officially registered in Singapore, EtherZero is described as a platform with all popular features like smart contracts and multiple layers. According to the official website, it is supposed to be zero-fee, work in real time and have a high scalability.
The very same things can be said about EtherInc. Forked from the Ethereum mainnet, this platform claims to be a novel solution with fundamental reliability and clear vision. The goal of its developers was to overcome specific compliances and regulations of different countries, heavy costs, prohibitive legal fees, high transaction charges, etc.
In February 2018, the EtherBTC fork was executed. It combines the best features of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The developers promise to create a hybrid cryptocurrency with immutable limited coin supply, high transaction speed, and the affordability of the Ethereum blockchain. In the official whitepaper, the authors have specified two main problems they are trying to solve, namely high fees and slow transactions.
Ethereum on its own is a huge platform intended to solve many non-financial issues in the IT world. It might be used as a base for different projects and has huge application capabilities. As we can see, this flexible environment can be improved in different ways. Even taking into account The DAO fork that was caused by an attack, all other forks are volunteerly processed by different development teams.