The much talked about Ethereum Constantinople hard fork which was earlier scheduled for today has been delayed after critical vulnerabilities were discovered.
The critical issue was detected by smart contract audit firm ChainSecurity and was reported in a blog post on Jan 15. The Constantinople hard fork if implemented without the fix, would have provided loopholes to cyber attackers in the code to steal user funds. According to the company reports, the Constantinople upgrade introduces cheaper gas cost or transaction fees for some operation on the Ethereum network.
Speaking on call, founder Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum developers as well as clients agreed upon delaying the hard fork at least temporarily until the issue is properly addressed. The new fork date will be decided during another Ethereum dev call on Friday.
Joanes Espanol, CTO of blockchain analytics firm Amberdata explained the issue while speaking to Coindesk:
“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.”
Given the fork’s primary aim is technical upgrade of the network, Ethereum core dev Lane Rettig told Bloomberg:
“I really can’t imagine a less contentious hard fork, to be honest. Of all the hard forks in the history of Ethereum, it’s probably the least eventful one.”
Constantinople hard fork was earlier planned for implementation on 2018 but was delayed after issues cropped up while launching the upgrades on the Ropsten testnet. The hard fork is supported by all the major exchanges including Coinbase, Binance, Huobi and is expecting that the fork would not be controversial as it was seen in the case of Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
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