Forks are needed to allow innovation to take place in blockchaing – with no central figure in charge, development is up to the community and forks allow the implementation of these changes. These mechanisms allow the industry as a whole to adapt, grow and prosper, and all in a decentralized nature. The following guide breaks down the difference between a hard fork and a soft fork: [The Difference Between A Hard Fork And A Soft Fork](https://www.oobit.com/blog/the-difference-between-a-hard-fork-and-a-soft-fork/)
The biggest difference between a hard a soft forks is the backward-compatibility. With hard forks, the network is split into two and users need to pick which network they want to continue with. With soft forks, the network’s rules are updated but the chains can co-exist and older nodes (ones that have not updated) can still participate in verifying transactions. In soft forks, users are generally unaware of the updates and can continue to use the network and cryptocurrency as usual.