FAQ: Upcoming Ethereum Hard Fork

The Ethereum community might be present process a tough fork at block quantity 2463000, which can seemingly happen between 12:00 and 13:00 UTC on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. A countdown timer may be seen at

As a consumer, what do I must do?

Obtain the most recent model of your Ethereum consumer:

What occurs if I don’t take part within the exhausting fork?

If you’re utilizing an Ethereum consumer that isn’t up to date for the upcoming exhausting fork, your consumer will sync to the pre-fork blockchain as soon as the fork happens. You’ll be caught on an incompatible chain following the previous guidelines and you’ll be unable to ship ether or function on the post-fork Ethereum community.

What’s a tough fork in Ethereum-land?

A tough fork is a change to the underlying Ethereum protocol, creating new guidelines to enhance the system. All Ethereum purchasers must improve; in any other case they are going to be caught on an incompatible chain following the previous guidelines. The decentralized nature of blockchain methods makes a tough fork improve tougher. Hard forks in a blockchain require cooperation and communication with the neighborhood, in addition to with the builders of the varied Ethereum purchasers to ensure that the transition to go easily.

What occurs throughout a tough fork?

After consensus is reached on what modifications ought to be included in a tough fork, modifications to the protocol are written into the varied Ethereum purchasers, corresponding to geth, Parity, and ethereumJ. The protocol modifications are activated at a particular block quantity. Any nodes that haven’t been upgraded to the brand new ruleset might be deserted on the previous chain the place the earlier guidelines live on.

Why do we want a tough fork?

Since September 18th (UTC), the Ethereum community has been below assault by an individual or group leading to giant delays earlier than transactions have been processed. The community is presently stuffed with pending transactions which is inflicting customers delays in processing their transactions. You possibly can consider this as a denial of service (DoS) assault on the Ethereum blockchain.

Each operation that an Ethereum contract performs on the community is given a worth or gasoline price. Utilizing the ADD operation is much less computationally costly than performing a fancy operation corresponding to hashing a quantity utilizing SHA256. The attacker carried out a DoS assault by repeatedly calling sure operation codes (opcodes) of their good contracts which are computationally tough for purchasers to course of, however very low-cost so as to add to the community. With the intention to forestall the attacker(s) from persevering with to flood the community with low-priced contracts with excessive computational value, we’re elevating the value of sure operations.

Why are we doing two exhausting forks and what’s going to the results be?

The 2 exhausting forks every deal with completely different issues which have arisen from the assaults. The primary exhausting fork is supposed to deal with pressing community well being points regarding underpriced operation codes. As described in Ethereum Enchancment Proposal 150, “EIP 150 Hard Fork,” the primary exhausting fork is ready to happen at block quantity 2463000 and can alter the value of underpriced opcodes concerned within the assault. The second exhausting fork is predicted to deal with a variety of much less pressing issues corresponding to eradicating empty accounts which the attacker used to flood the Ethereum community, and which brought on the dimensions of the blockchain to inflate. The second exhausting fork continues to be being mentioned.

After the second exhausting fork has been carried out, there’ll seemingly be a “clean-up period” throughout which period there might proceed to be delays and difficulties processing transactions and syncing till the blockchain state has been totally debloated.

How will the EIP 150 exhausting fork have an effect on contracts?

See following commentary:

The place can I discover extra technical particulars on what the 2 new exhausting forks will change within the protocol?

The respective modifications to Ethereum protocol are documented within the GitHub repository for Ethereum Improvement Proposals
The next two EIPs describe the present plans for the upcoming exhausting forks:

A giant due to the Ethereum neighborhood for his or her persistence and understanding, and to all Ethereum builders throughout all purchasers and platforms who got here collectively to offer enter, ideas, and contributions to deal with stopping the assaults and serving to to enhance the platform.

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