Soft fork

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A soft fork (softfork) is a change to the cryptocurrency protocol wherein only previously valid blocks and transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes will recognize the new blocks as valid, unlike a hard fork, a soft fork can still work with older versions of the protocol. If a wallet wants to support new soft fork rules it has to be upgraded.

See also bitcoin wiki page


Soft forks in Bitcoin:

  • Introducing the limit of 1MB for a block was done through a soft fork
  • The pay-to-script-hash function, which enhances the code without changing the structure was also successfully added through a soft fork.
  • SegWit was implemented in Bitcoin protocol using a soft fork in BIP141.

Trezor started supporting SegWit in August 2017

See also this article for more information about differences between soft forks and hard forks.

UASF vs MASF[edit]

When a majority of miners upgrade to enforce new rules, it is called a miner-activated soft fork (MASF). When full nodes coordinate to enforce new rules, without the support from miners, it is called a user-activated soft fork (UASF).

See also Fork, Hard fork, Coin split


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