Open source software
There are two types of software, closed source and open source. Companies like like microsoft and apple work with a software where the source code is not accessible and is protected by patents. On the other hand, you have open source software like linux and bitcoin. This is software that is always free and to which anyone can contribute. It also allows anyone to copy the source code and make their own version of it. Bitcoin is a very good example of this. The thing is, anyone with the right mentality and mindset can contribute to the improvement of the network. The well-known website github is the place to do this. Anyone can upload their code on this platform and a democratic vote is then taken as to whether or not it will be implemented. It doesn't get much fairer than this.
Of course, it is also sometimes the case that the community does not reach a consensus. There are then two options, either the idea dies or the community and associated blockchain split off. And this happens more than you think. Then we talk about a hard fork. A soft fork is an update in the network that is backward compatible and thus keeps the chain intact. A hard fork is when there is a split of the blockchain and thus from 1, 2 separate blockchains are created. They have a similar history but at the time of the hard fork they each start to live their own lives. It is also true that certain hard fork of coins allow the first chain to die off in order to continue with the new chain.
A very well-known fork of bitcoin was the segwit update, which stands for segregated witness. The thing is that bitcoin has a blocksize of 1mb, this is bitterly small and allows bitcoin to process only 7 transactions per second. They then chose to keep the signature of the transactions outside the block which allowed for more room to process transactions. This was an update that everyone supported in the bitcoin world so there was no problem. But this is not always the case.
###Bitcoin cash The most famous hard fork of bitcoin is the split of bitcoin and bitcoin cash. As mentioned above, bitcoin only has a block size of 1mb. There was a big debate among the supporters because a large part of the developers wanted to scale up that block size to 8mb which would allow for 8 times as many transactions to be processed. The real bitcoin maximalists wanted to keep Satoshi Nakamoto's idea intact and not make such drastic changes. So we were in a duel. It was then decided to implement a hard fork in 2017 which caused the original chain of bitcoin to split off. So from this point on we had the original bitcoin and on the other side bitcoin cash. Interesting to know is that at the time of the hard fork everyone got bitcoin cash for free which still allowed them to earn a nice sum.
Things have not stood still since then as the bitcoin cash chain has already been split 2 times and now has a block size of 32mb. A good tip for the future, if you know there will be a hard fork, be sure to buy some of those coins because you will automatically receive the same amount of the new coin in your wallet. Free money. Always a nice bonus. There are now more than 20,000 coins and forks happen almost daily, so try to follow the crypto news and anticipate what is coming. For example, with the last hard fork of bitcoin cash I was able to buy a new Iphone. So that phone was literally free. I would definitely dare to say, keep an eye on the future and sometimes dare to take a leap. Free money is free money.