At around 2 PM London time, ethereum underwent a network upgrade with no apparent technical problems whatsoever following a number of dos attacks that have had some effect on eth transactions.
The successful fork occurred at block 2,463,000 with the entire network seemingly upgrading in the past few days without any controversy on a social level as the entire ecosystem seems to be in agreement that the network upgrade is desirable. This is to be followed by another hardfork of less urgency at an undetermined time.
According to Hudson Jameson, Ethereum Developer, the second hardfork,
[I]s expected to address a number of less urgent matters such as removing empty accounts which the attacker used to flood the Ethereum network, and which caused the size of the blockchain to inflate. The second hard fork is still being discussed. After the second hard fork has been implemented, there will likely be a “clean-up period” during which time there may continue to be delays and difficulties processing transactions and syncing until the blockchain state has been fully debloated.
Prior to the hardfork, there was a transaction backlog, but with the successful upgrade the network should return to normalcy, although it may “take a while for miners to vote the gas limit back up”, according to Nick Johnson, Ethereum developer.
Price instantly reacted, increasing by almost 9% today, with considerable volume. For ETC, the market had the opposite reaction, falling down by more than 4%. ETC did not fork today. They are to fork at block 2,500,000 which should be around the 25th of October, exactly a week from now.
However, the community seems divided from what can be observed in public discussions. Most, if not perhaps all, of ETC developers seem to be in agreement that the network must upgrade, but many users are raising questions regarding immutability, even though the first fork does not address bloat. That will be addresses in the second fork which for ETC seems likely to be controversial and may cause a split.
In any event, Ethereum shows once more it’s agility and ability to quickly and dynamically react to testing situations while retaining the vast majority of the community focused towards the same goals. The entire network upgraded in just a day or two, with the upgrade seemingly appearing as if nothing happened. However, the dos attack should now hopefully stop and transactions should soon start running as normal, thus returning Eth to usual operation and allowing the community to focus on new eth projects as well as network improvements and optimizations, such as Casper.
Images from Shutterstock and Ethereum.