A split in the blockchain, creating a new version of the cryptocurrency.v
A hard fork refers to a significant and permanent divergence in the blockchain network, resulting in the creation of a separate and independent blockchain. It occurs when the protocol rules governing the blockchain are modified in a network without an amendment process (ex. Bitcoin), causing a split between nodes that upgrade to the new rules and those that continue to operate under the old rules. A hard fork typically occurs to introduce new features, enhance security, or resolve critical issues within the blockchain.