Ethereum Classic Atlantis Hard Fork Explained By ETC Labs Tech Coordinator

By June 3, 2019 Ethereum
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Stevan Lohja, the Technology Coordinator at Ethereum Classic Labs, one of the first blockchain-focused incubators that supports the development of various projects on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) network, has confirmed that the Atlantis hard fork for the Turing Complete platform will be activated.

Lohja, a former Technical Writer at ETCDEV, an Ethereum Classic-focused development organization that shut down due to lack of funding (last year), noted that Atlantis Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal (ECIP-1054) consists of a subset of updates including EIP-161.

Elaborating on the recent concerns cited by the proof-of-work (PoW)-based platform’s community members, Lohja wrote in a blog post, published on May 31, 2019, that EIP-161 has raised concerns because it proposes “an irregular state change.”

EIP-161 Would Make It Possible to “Remove Empty Accounts at a Low Cost”

Lohja, a Fine Arts in Web Design and Interactive Media graduate from The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, claimed that the Ethereum (ETH) network has a denial-of-service (DoS) attack vulnerability where “someone can create empty accounts that increase the size of the blockchain.”

The experienced technical writer explained that activating EIP-161 would “make it possible to remove empty accounts at a low cost.” He added that removing the empty accounts effectively “reduces the size of the blockchain state” which results in improved network performance. For instance, a reduction in blockchain state would also reduce the “sync times for clients,” Lohja wrote.

EIP-161’s “Context and Result” Different Than That of Ethereum’s DAO Fork

Loha further noted that EIP-161 “removes system empties” and it will “not infringe on a user’s value or code.” He also clarified that the “context and result” of EIP-161 are “different than that of the radical and irregular DAO ICO bailout fork.” That’s because the DAO ICO bailout fork altered the Ethereum blockchain’s checks and balances (belonging to its users at that time) - in order to “bail out special interests.”

In September 2016, the Ethereum network suffered DoS attacks that adversely affected the performance of its network. After the hack, the attackers managed to create “significant state bloat of account empties; lacking code, balance, storage, and nonce == 0.” To address these issues, EIP-161 was implemented as it allowed developers to “clean” account empties.

As noted by Lohja, EIP-161 was activated on November 22, 2016, at block height 2,675,000. However, a “consensus bug” was discovered just a few days later and Ethereum developers had noted (at that time) that the software glitch was due to two separate implementations exhibiting “different behavior in the case of state reverts.” The issue was later fixed to “clarify that empty account deletions are reverted when the state is reverted”, Lohja noted.

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