Ethereum’s community has reached a general understanding that the best way to move forward and address the month long dos of the network is a quick hardfork.
A matter of urgency has been added following a recent backlog of more than 12,000 transactions and some miners opting in for zero transaction blocks. Gavin Wood, founder of Ethcore, maintainers of Parity, the second most used ethereum client, publicly stated yesterday:
The EIP150.c1 hard fork is being targeted for Monday. We have a candidate branch and will be releasing a fork-ready client as soon as there are proper consensus tests. This should address the underlying issues in the protocol. Until then I fear it might be a bit of a bumpy ride as the attacker gets ever more cunning in their exploits of these flaws.
Jeff Wickle, Ethereum Developer, confirmed that an overall consensus has been reached to hardfork, with the Go Ethereum client to be released as soon as possible. The hardfork code has been under development for a few days, now undergoing review and testing. Similarly, for Parity, Tomasz Drwięga, Ethcore developer, stated:
We already have PRs for EIP1501c - ethcore/parity#2591 and ethcore/parity#2599 They are passing current (very limited test suite). When the code is reviewed properly and more tests are prepared we are be ready. Don't know any hard date yet though.
Once hardfork clients are released, the entire network is likely to quickly upgrade within two-three days, thus the hardfork may occur as early as next week. There is as good as no controversy regarding the proposed upgrade, with all public comments being supportive and no reasonable argument presented against the fork. The event therefore is likely to go smoothly on a social level as it is not clear why anyone would wish to remain on a dos vulnerable chain.
On a technical level, the attacker might use the event to perhaps create two chains or exploit some hardfork vulnerability. Developers, therefore, are likely to be on high alert during the hardfork, as well as, one would think, everyone else. Previously, there have been two hardforks, if not more, all of which have gone perfectly smoothly on a technical level, but the attacker seems to be fairly sophisticated from a coding perspective and well-funded. The hardfork, therefore, while having full consensus, might be bumpier on a technical level.
However, ethereum’s development team has shown immense skill over the past month with the market likewise maintaining trust that the issue will be resolved. While ETC’s price crashed by more than 10% following similar attacks, Ethereum’s price, although experienced some decline, has largely remained calm, but attention has focused on the Dos for the past month, overshadowing other aspects of the nascent ecosystem. Returning to discussions about new projects, developments, advances in the space, therefore, would undoubtedly be welcomed by all ethereans.
Featured image from iStock.