Ethereum client update sets hardfork date

Ethereum client has upgraded its code to enforce the upcoming Byzantium upgrade
05 October 2017   2672

A tentative date for the Metropolis update Byzantium has been revealed by the developers team. Thus, Ethereum core developers Hudson Jameson, Péter Szilágyi, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, and others revealed that Byzantium upgrades will be implemented around October 17th. The hard fork for Byzantium is scheduled to launch on block 4,370,000.

Now, the Ethereum's client has upgraded its code to enforce the upcoming Byzantium upgrade.

With the Geth (the code from Go Ethereum) release, the network moves closer to implementing the first of two parts in the wider Metropolis upgrade. The addition of the code to Geth is notable because it greatly increases the likelihood that the upgrade will happen at that time.

According to the code release, anyone running an Ethereum node with Geth is requested to update their software to "ensure a smooth transition". On top of that, Ethereum developer Peter Szilágyi advises node operators to update their software at least a week prior to the mainnet launch. Other clients, such as Mist, will issue updates in the coming dates, Szilágyi predictes.

Please give yourselves ample time to switch to the 1.7.x series (1.7.1 specifically for Byzantium) before the hard fork to avoid any surprises as the series does contain non-trivial database optimizations ([it] also gives us time to fix anything if something doesn't work as it should).
 

Peter Szilágyi
Ethereum developer

The upcoming hardfork is to feature a variety of improvements including increased speed and ramified security. 

Ethereum price chart on coinmarketcap.com
Ethereum price chart on coinmarketcap.com

Meanwhile, at the time of writing, Ethereum price is about $292.64, its market capitalization is $27,787,599,110.

Constantinople to be Postponed

Ethereum's hardfork will be late due to critical vulnerability found
16 January 2019   79

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.