Earlier this week, the Ethereum Foundation announced that the key stakeholders of the community have decided to postpone the Constantinople hard fork because of the discovery of a security attack of the smart contracts after the hard fork. This announcement was made hours before the network upgrade, resulting in the Parity and Geth team releasing an emergency upgrade to avoid revert the upgrade.
The foundation stated that all node operators, miners, and exchanges were required to upgrade to the new version or downgrade to the previous version. This announcement was rather an unexpected one by the community as the Rinkeby Testnet, which took place on January 9, 2019, was stated to be successful, unlike the Ropsten Testnet, which resulted in a three-way fork.
This time, the vulnerability was detected by ChainSecurity, wherein the team revealed that the smart contracts are vulnerable only after the Constantinople hard fork and not before. The upgrade of the network would enable Reentrancy attack, which is currently not possible because of the high gas limit. However, it would be possible after the upgrade because EIP 1283 proposes the reduction of gas required for SStore operations.
The delay in the fork has also resulted in some of the members of the community appreciating the quick measure taken by the Foundation members to avoid the fork within a short-span, whereas others were either unhappy about the fact that the team took notice of the vulnerability hours before the upgrade or concluded that the community was centralized.
To add on, if it weren’t for the Reentrancy attack, the upgrade would have taken place earlier today on block #7080000. At present, the details pertaining to the next schedule of the hard fork and the block it would occur on would be decided during the next Ethereum dev core meeting, which would be taking place towards the end of the week.
There is speculation related to the hard fork doing its rounds in the market. Some in the community believe that the hard fork would be taking place on January 21, 2019, on Monday. However, one of the core developers of Ethereum, Afro Schoedon has stated that the next hard fork would take much longer time.
He said on Twitter:
“It’s not happening on Monday. I don’t know who was seeding this. It’s more like 2-6 weeks.”