What Is a Hard Spoon?

Most readers will be familiar with cryptocurrency hard forks. It seems that we will soon also be dealing with something known as a hard spoon, which operates in a very different manner. It is a concept that may become more common as time progresses, even though it remains to be seen how much value this approach brings to the table.

The Hard Spoon Concept in a Nutshell

Unlike what one would expect from a hard fork, the hard spoon concept takes a very different approach. The first hard spoon will be deployed in May or early June of this year, and seems to involve the Ethermint token. As blockchain projects tend to get a bit more complicated and reliant on other platforms, it is evident some interesting problems will occur at some point.

A hard spoon essentially is a new blockchain which takes the account state of an existing chain into account. People familiar with the concept of a hard fork will recall that some projects take a “snapshot” of an existing blockchain and issue the newly created tokens accordingly. While this does not necessarily warrant a novel approach, the hard spoon is not focused on competition.

Instead, it was established mainly as a way to provide broader access. Replicating the account balances of an existing cryptocurrency can be rather bothersome in some cases, yet this becomes a trivial manner when using the hard spoon approach. For the first creation of this kind, the Ethereum blockchain will be hard-spooned to ensure that ETH holders will be able to access their existing coins in the Ethermint VM zone.

Moreover, the existing balances ported over to the new VM can be used as free tokens within Ethermint itself. It is an interesting approach which may not make much sense to people not showing any interest in Ethermint, but it will still be interesting to see how this venture plays out in the long run.

According to the team, a hard spoon can best be described as a meta-protocol on top of a blockchain to create a token which inherits the blockchain’s underlying token balances. It is a concept which was first proposed by Vitalik Buterin, although most people overlooked his comment at the time, by the look of things.

In the end, it is good to see a different approach to bringing value to new tokens which borrow some elements from existing cryptocurrencies. Rather than take value away from the main currency, a hard spoon will invite community members from the original chain to explore a new platform.