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Ethereum Improvement Protocol 1283: reason for the delay of Constantinople hard fork

Priya

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Ethereum Improvement Protocol 1283 delays the Constantinople hard fork
Source: Unsplash

Ethereum [ETH], the third largest cryptocurrency and the leading smart contract, is back in the news, yet again, because of the Constantinople hard fork. This time, the team has decided to postpone the hard fork as issues related to one of the proposals has been bought to light by ChainSecurity, an audit platform for smart contracts, and the team is currently looking into the potential of the vulnerability of these issues.

The decision to push the hard fork forward was jointly taken by Ethereum stakeholders, security researchers, Ethereum client developer, smart contract owners and developers, wallet providers, dApp developers, Node operators and other key members of the community. The Foundation has also asked miners, exchanges and node operators to update to the new version of Parity and Geth.

Ethereum announced on official Twitter handle:

“[SECURITY ALERT] #Constantinople upgrade is temporarily postponed out of caution following a consensus decision by #Ethereum developers, security professionals and other community members. More information and instructions are below.”

The reason for the delay is a Reentrancy attack after the Constantinople hard fork, discovered by ChainSecurity as a part of the Ethereum bug bounty program. This problem was found in one of the five proposed Ethereum Improvement Protocols [EIP]s. The protocol in the spotlight here is the EIP 1283: the net gas metering for SSTORE without dirty maps. This improvement protocol was written by Wei Tang and enables new usages for contract storage and reduces gas cost for SStore operations.

Ethereum Constantinople Security Issue || Source: ChainSecurity

Ethereum Constantinople Security Issue || Source: ChainSecurity

According to them, a smart contract is vulnerable to the attack only after the Constantinople upgrade and before it. The report further stated that the vulnerable code stimulates a secure treasury sharing service, wherein “two parties can jointly receive funds, decide on how to split them, and receive a payout if they agree*.”

Why smart contracts are vulnerable to the attack | Source: Trading View

Why smart contracts are vulnerable to the attack | Source: Trading View

Interestingly, the improvement protocol cannot be removed from the upgrade as it would “introduces too much complexity that cannot be tested and confidently be released within 36 hours“, said Afri Schoedon, a core developer of Ethereum Foundation. As of now, the fate of Constantinople hard fork is going to be decided during the ETH dev core meeting, which will be held towards the end of this week.

Whale Panda:

“Ethereum’s centralization (devs, infura) comes in handy when you have to make new monetary decisions, rushed hard forks, rushed upgrades, rushed downgrades and rushed patches. It’s a feature, not a bug!”

Cyrus Younessi, Director of Research and Trading at Scalar Capital:

“Having witnessed both, I feel emergency hard fork *cancellations* are much more preferable than emergency hard forks, and the market seems to agree. Congrats to the Ethereum community for (once again) swift and sensible decision making.”

Notably, this is not the first time the upgrade has been postponed. The initial launch of Constantinople was set to be in late 2018, but was pushed to early 2019 because of issues discovered in the Parity implementation of Ethereum, during the Ropsten Testnet. The reason for the initial delay was the a consensus bug and also the limitation of Parity against Geth.





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Priya is a full-time member of the reporting team at AMBCrypto. She is a finance major with one year of writing experience. She has not held any value in Bitcoin or other currencies.

Altcoins

Ethereum Classic releases Parity-Ethereum 2.5.2-beta to allow Atlantis hardfork on Morden, Kotti Classic networks

Arijit Sarkar

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Parity-Ethereum aims at mass adoption through hardforking updates
Source: PxHere

The original Ethereum [ETH] Co-founders, Vitalik Buterin and Charles Hoskinson, have contributed immensely to the crypto’s growth, while creating complete ecosystems as foundations to build future projects. Amidst the numerous hardforks, a continuation of the original Ethereum blockchain, Ethereum Classic [ETC], has also given rise to numerous projects that currently stand at the frontier of crypto-adoption and development.

The ETC-inspired Parity Ethereum is delivering updates aimed at enabling hard forks on various blockchain networks. One of its latest updates, Parity-Ethereum 2.5.2-beta, will enable users perform the Atlantis hardfork on Morden and Kotti Classic networks. The Atlantis hardfork is a protocol upgrade that can incorporate pre-activated EIPs on Ethereum. Additionally, it will also help in easier migration of DApps between networks.

The news was revealed by Ethereum Classic’s official twitter handle, which said,

“Update enables Atlantis support on the #Kotti and #Morden ETC testnets.
New Versions of ‘Parity-Ethereum’ Available: v2.5.2-beta; v2.4.7-stable”

The update was expanded upon by the Github page that calls the update “a bug-fix release that improves performance and stability.” The previous upgrade brought in hardforking capability by introducing Petersburg and Kovan Network community hardforks on the Rinkeby and POA-Core Networks.

While the supposedly fastest and lightest Ethereum client remains focused on delivering highly customizable blockchains for private use, speculators within the crypto-industry have taken notice of ETC’s rising market cap, which was $976 million, at press time. Further, the 18th-ranked cryptocurrency has also recorded a strong bullish trend since the beginning of 2019.

Crypto-enthusiasts have thus, taken to Twitter to pledge their long-term support for ETC. One such user, @con_gang, replied to the original post and tweeted,

“Let’s GO $ETC! Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaamp it Barry!!!!!!”

Both the beta and stable versions of the update also contain bug fixes that are related to the rejecting, rather than truncating timestamps. These updates will also work towards removing dead chain configs. Further, some experts have pointed out that Parity Ethereum’s update that involved reworking the Sha3/keccak256 hash calculation, had also improved the overall performance of the network.

While the GitHub link does not talk about light client support being fully functional yet, ETC’s game plan reflects an increased focus on long-term adoption rather than trading value recovery, which is similar to Ethereum and Cardano’s roadmap.





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