BNB Smart Chain, Binance’s blockchain network that supports smart contracts and dApps, implemented a key network upgrade and hard fork on 12 October.
Network upgrade details
As per Binance’s announcement, the BNB Smart Chain (BEP20) network upgrade and hard fork took place at the BNB Smart Chain block height of 22,107,423, or approximately at 2022-10-12 08:00 (UTC).
In order to ensure a smooth upgrade, Binance halted all deposits and withdrawals on BNB Smart Chain starting 07:00 UTC.
Furthermore, Binance clarified that the network upgrade and hard fork will not affect the trading of tokens on BNB Smart Chain. Node operators, however, will have to stop the nodes that remain functioning and replace them with a new binary.
Moran hard fork
BNB Smart Chain’s Github page laid out key details of the hard fork which has been dubbed “Moran.” It has been described as a “temporary urgent patch to mitigate the cross-chain infrastructure between Beacon Chain and Smart Chain so that the cross-chain can be re-enabled back.”
Contrary to the popular kind of hard fork that the crypto community saw after Ethereum’s merge, this hard fork did not seek to split the chain in two. The objective was to attend to the vulnerabilities in the network.
This upgrade is largely in response to the hack on BNB Chain’s cross-chain bridge on 6 October. Hackers made away with a whopping $100 million after exploiting a vulnerability in the network.
The initial amount extracted by the hackers from the bride was two million BNB tokens worth U.S. $572 million at the time, but less than 20% of that made it off the network. This was only possible because the system was swiftly shut down as the network used a system of 44 validators.
Members of the crypto community are now wondering about the degree of immutability and centrality when it comes to such crypto projects. The power to halt operations lies in the hands of so few.
In a blog post published by Binance recently, CEO Changpeng Zhao addressed the recurring topic of centralization vs. decentralization. He argued that centralization depends on factors other than the number of validators as well.