The EOS blockchain and ecosystem is still in its infancy. The network is full of developers all looking their build and deploy their decentralized applications (dApps). With all this new innovation, ‘forks’ are becoming prevalent as developers look to optimize the EOSIO software for their needs. Understanding what these forks are and how they work is vital.
The different types of ‘forks,’ have been brilliantly categorized by Shaheen Counts from EOS BlockSmith. The different categories are listed and explained below:
### Chain Forks
A chain fork is the most common type of fork. A chain fork consists of splitting a pre-existing blockchain and creating a separate chain. The separate chain shares the same historical data as the original chain up until the moment of the chain fork. After this point it is independent. Well-known chain fork examples include Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic.
At this point, there are no chain forks of the EOS blockchain, though this is possible in the future. As an EOS holder, it is crucial to keep chain forks in mind as existing tokens holders will recieve the new blockchain token once a fork occurs.
### Code Forks
A code fork involves taking the EOSIO software and creating a new, independent blockchain. The benefits are that the new independent blockchain can be optimized to suit the specific needs of the network. Some companies have implemented code forks of the EOSIO software, including financial services platform WORBLI — a “friendly fork”.
Code forks allow for the complete control of the independent blockchain, giving the potential for block producers to exist on the new chain. EOS token holders can benefit from tracking of these code forks as they stand to benefit from any airdrops these new independent chains carry out.
### Side Chains
A side chain is an independent blockchain that acts as an auxiliary component to the main chain. The side chain connects to the main EOS network via a “two-way peg”, meaning the price ratio between the side chain token and EOS token will remain the same. The purpose of side chains is to provide extra features and properties to the main network for building dApps and horizontally scaling the entire network. There are currently no side chains on the EOS network. BlockOne may utilize side chains in the future to improve and scale the EOS network.
These forks offer countless possibilities to developers who are seeking to take advantage of the amazing features available on the EOS network. As innovation continues, the EOS ecosystem will only expand and become the most vibrant ecosystem in the distributed ledger technology space.