Byzantium release date updated

Ethereum's hardfork is planned to occur between 12:00 UTC and 13:00 UTC on Monday, October 16, 2017 (on the block 4,370,000)
12 October

Ethereum Team made an official announcement regarding the upcoming Byzantium hardfork. 

Now hardfork is planned on the to occur between 12:00 UTC and 13:00 UTC on Monday, October 16, 2017. (on the block 4,370,000)

Additionally, here's the list of official recommendation for user:

Download the latest version of your Ethereum client:

  • Latest version of Ethereum Wallet/Mist.
  • Latest geth client (v 1.7.1)
  • Latest Parity client (v 1.7.4)
  • Latest Harmony client (v 2.1.0)

Users of desktop or mobile wallets, such as Jaxx or MyEtherWallet, is necessary to clarify with their providers, whether they will upgrade infrastructure on the eve of hardfork. 

Main features of upcoming Byzantium:

  • Addition of ‘REVERT’ opcode, which permits error handling without consuming all gas 
  • Transaction receipts now include a status field to indicate success or failure 
  • Elliptic curve addition and scalar multiplication on alt_bn128 and pairing checks, permitting ZK-Snarks and other cryptographic mathemagic™
  • Support for big integer modular exponentiation, enabling RSA signature verification and other cryptographic applications
  • Support for variable length return values
  • Addition of the ‘STATICCALL’ opcode, permitting non-state-changing calls to other contracts 
  • Changes to the difficulty adjustment formula to take uncles into account 
  • Delay of the ice age / difficulty bomb by 1 year, and reduction of block reward from 5 to 3 ether

 

Ethereum network is still unstable

Byzantium had executed on Monday, but developers aren't ready to call the software transition complete
18 October

Organizations and developers are better off refraining from launching large projects until the Ethereum network is fully stable after the recent Byzantium update. This is said by the Gavin Wood, Parity Technologies head and reported by the Coindesk.

Since new versions of the software were released just days before the fork, much of the network has not yet been updated. So, at the time of press, slightly more than 25% of Parity customers updated, in Geth this indicator is slightly higher - about 59%. So, in total, the update was made about 45% of the network.

Another aspect that should also be taken into account is the short time for testing. In particular, the developers recalled previous versions of the software, discovering critical errors that could make the network vulnerable to DoS attacks or lead to incompatibility between nodes and, as a consequence, network sharing.

Therefore, the question of how safe the network is at the moment is fully justified and, taking into account what has been said above, remains open. This is exactly what Gavin Wood warned, recommending at this stage to refrain from launching large-scale projects.

In addition to the nodes that have yet to update, there is also a possibility that in the current Byzantium software there may be bugs that endanger the security of the Ethereum network. The most dangerous among them is a bug of consensus, in which nodes can not communicate. Its result can be the separation of the block-man into several incompatible chains.

As far as is known, at the moment developers are conducting extensive tests, trying to detect such bugs before they are active. As Gavin Wood says, if the network does contain such a bug, it will take several days to prove itself.

I don't think anyone believed the network was going to self-combust on block 4,370,000.
 

Gavin Wood
Head, Parity Technologies

The head of Parity Technologies is also convinced that if problems are discovered, the Ethereum development team will quickly release new updates designed to prevent any harm to the platform.