Here is a quick rundown on what a fork implies:
What is a hard fork?
A hard fork is the result of a change in consensus rules (e.g. these rules that specify that the coinbase reward is 200 MAG, determine the difficulty and so on). New versions are not backward compatible with older versions and this may create edge cases that need to be understood for a smooth transition.
Why do we need a hard fork?
In our specific case, we want to prevent miners from gaining a prejudicial advantage when not paying the 50% block reward to masternodes. In the new version, blocks presenting no masternode payee will be treated differently and even deemed invalid under specific conditions (more technical details will be shared later on).
As such and as soon as the fork activates, nodes running the previous software version will become incompatible with the new software version hence it is of vital importance that anyone running a node understand these changes and upgrade – should they decide to move forward with it.
What are the solutions?
It is important to realize that enforcing payments to masternodes may imply ad-hoc, on-the-fly and superposed mechanisms that are not intrinsically part of the blockchain. That is, the blockchain does not keep track of information about the masternodes that are online at time of payment.
Some masternode ecosystems use a centralized solution via Sporks, others simply hardcode additional checks based on current network state.
Because our upcoming smart contract layer (see roadmap) will later provide the flexibility needed to implement a full-fledge solution, we have decided to keep our network decentralized and, created a 100% blockchain-based rule. The solution will identify blocks submitted by secluded miners (those not connected to masternode network) and reduce their prejudicial advantage. More detail will be communicated soon.
What are the impacts?
Upon release, we need to decide AT which block height – in the future – the hard fork should activate. During that time both old and new versions will remain compatible. This is during that time that users, masternode owners, miners and exchanges will need to update their software to make sure that when the target block is reached we all continue our journey on the same chain. Anyone on the older chain (most likely these mischievous miners) will branch out and their blocks will no longer be added to the chain.
It is also important to realize that all existing pre-fork blocks will remain valid. Any transaction since genesis is still and will remain valid. Your wallet will keep the same balance; the history will also still be available.
What if I don’t upgrade when fork happens?
Any MAG that you have gathered before the fork are safe before, during and after the fork, even if you do not update your node software, these MAG will all be available on both branches.
BUT any transaction done after the fork may run into compatibility issue if you do not update. It is highly recommended to update before the fork to prevent any issues.
For any additional question feel free to join us on Discord for live chat. We are committed to provide as much assistance as needed to make this process a success.