There will only ever be one Cardano

The hard-fork combinator is able to upgrade the Cardano protocol in such a way that only a single blockchain will exist after the event. This is significantly different from the traditional hard fork in which blockchain forking usually occurs. Combinator can perform the upgrade without stopping the network. This leaves the way open for Cardano to make further improvements that will not disrupt the operation of the global financial operating system. Most importantly, there will always be only one Cardano network and 45,000,000,000 ADA coins.


  • Every hard-fork is a big uncertainty as the community and developers are divided and duplicate coins and tokens are created.
  • The Hard-Fork combinator ensures that the change takes place smoothly and without interrupting the network. After the event, there will be only one chain with the entire history.
  • There will never be a second Cardano “classic” or “cash”.

This article was prepared by Cardanians with support from Cexplorer.

Read the article: There will only ever be one Cardano | Cardano Explorer

Hard fork combinators are a nice technological idea, of course.

But the forks leading to Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum Classic were not technological accidents, but active social decisions. Those cannot be prevented by technology and could happen to Cardano also.

If a large enough part of the stake pools and exchanges had decided to keep running on the older node version, connect to each other, and start developing their own upgrades to the software, it would totally have been possible for two versions of Cardano to come out of it.

This is to a large extent prevented by the high adoption rates that IOG and CF had imposed before triggering the update. But that also is a social, management, governance decision.

If there would ever be a conflict like the one leading to the Ethereum Classic fork in the Cardano community, there is no technological barrier for two Cardanos to exist.


If I understand correctly how the HF combinator works, it shouldn’t be possible to fork Cardano in the “traditional way”. Of course, if someone wants to maintain a different network/rules, they will find a technical solution. For example, it is possible to fork the source code and launch a new network (new Genesis block).


Starting anew is perhaps more likely with a PoS chain. If there was a deliberate fork, the whales of Cardano would have considerable stake in both chains. Even if they won’t have enough for a 51% attack, it is somehow undesirable to have that much lying in the hands of people you disliked enough to fork. …