A hard fork is a permanent divergence in a blockchain, resulting from an upgrade to the underlying protocol that creates new consensus rules. This can cause non-upgraded nodes to be unable to validate blocks created by upgraded nodes. “Hard forks” are different from “soft forks”, which are software upgrades that do not result in a chain split as long as the upgrade is adopted by the majority of nodes on the network. In a hard fork of a blockchain network, miners are divided on which protocol to adopt, resulting in a split and the creation of a new chain with a new set of protocols. Holders of the old chain's cryptocurrency are granted coins from the new forked chain.