ConsenSys May Lay Off Up to 60% of Staff

ConsenSys is actively reviewing its portfolio of blockchain projects, either reducing its composition or cutting back funding for start-ups
21 December 2018   368

The blockchain startup ConsenSys can lay off 50-60% of its employees, not 13%, as previously reported. About this writes The Verge.

According to the documents at the source’s disposal, ConsenSys is actively reviewing its portfolio of blockchain projects, either reducing its composition or cutting back funding for start-ups.

To date, the company has supported approximately 36 different start-ups, with teams of between five and 50 people working in their teams. In general, the state of ConsenSys of 1200 people can be reduced by at least 50%.

Founded in October 2014, ConsenSys is focused on the development of the Ethereum network ecosystem. The new strategy, the head of ConsenSys Joseph Lubin announced in early December. In particular, he told staff that the company will tighten standards for supported startups.

Constantinople to be Postponed

Ethereum's hardfork will be late due to critical vulnerability found
16 January 2019   196

A scheduled upgrade of the Ethereum network called Constantinople was postponed indefinitely after a critical vulnerability was discovered in one of the improvements, CoinDesk reports.

This is a vulnerability in EIP-1283, which, as identified by the audit company SmartSecurity smart contracts, gave hackers the opportunity to steal user funds.

During a video conference on Tuesday with the participation of Ethereum developers and other clients and projects working on the network, it was decided to temporarily postpone the activation of the hard forks.

In particular, Vitaly Buterin, developers Hudson Jameson, Nick Johnson and Evan van Ness, as well as release manager of Parity Afri Shoedon took part in the meeting. Discussing the revealed vulnerability, they agreed that it would be impossible to eliminate it before the appointed time for hardfork (around 04:00 UTC on January 17).

A vulnerability, called a reentrancy attack, allows an attacker to repeatedly enter the same function and infinitely withdraw funds.

Imagine that my contract has a function which makes a call to another contract… If I’m a hacker and I’m able to trigger function a while the previous function was still executing, I might be able to withdraw funds.
 

Joanes Espanol

CTO, blockchain analytics firm Amberdata

According to him, this is a lot like the vulnerabilities that were discovered in The DAO in the summer of 2016.

Representatives of ChainSecurity also noted that up to the Constantinople hard fork, data storage on the network cost 5,000 units of gas, which exceeds the 2,300 gas usually needed to call the “transfer” and “send” functions. After the upgrade, “dirty” storage operations will cost 200 units of gas, and an attacking contract can use 2,300 gas to successfully manipulate the variables of vulnerable contracts.

New date of hardfork not yet determined.