The BNB Beacon Chain, a significant part of the Binance blockchain ecosystem, is set to undergo a planned hard fork upgrade on July 19th at 6:00 UTC. This upgrade, named “ZhangHeng” after a renowned Chinese scientist, will take place at block height 328,088,888. A hard fork refers to modifying the software protocol to validate previously invalid blocks or transactions. While the primary objective of this upgrade is to enhance overall security, it is essential to understand its implications for users and the steps involved.
The good news for most users is that this hard fork upgrade will not have a direct impact on them. The official announcement on July 12th emphasizes that users who utilize exchanges supporting BNB do not need to take any action unless specifically notified by their exchange or wallet service. However, this does not mean users can entirely overlook the upgrade. Full node operators on the mainnet need to ensure they upgrade their software version to v0.10.16 before the hard fork block height to avoid any disruptions.
To guarantee a successful transition during the hard fork, two-thirds of all BNB Chain validators must upgrade their nodes. This upgrade will introduce two significant security changes that aim to strengthen the overall security of the BNB Beacon Chain. Therefore, it is crucial for validators to follow the necessary steps to ensure synchronization with the upgraded BNB Beacon Chain peer/validator nodes.
The first key security change in this upgrade is the implementation of BEP-255, a proposal for on-chain asset reconciliation on the BNB Beacon Chain. By tracking user balance changes in each block and reconciling them, this feature aims to improve security and identify any potential issues. In case of reconciliation errors, the blockchain will halt the production of new blocks, triggering a “panic” response.
Addressing vulnerabilities is another essential aspect of enhancing security. The hard fork upgrade will address a vulnerability called the “Rogue Key Attack,” which poses a risk to the network’s Fast Finality mechanism. This vulnerability will be rectified through a bug fix. As a result, all existing vote addresses will be removed when the hard fork reaches its designated height. Validators will need to add vote addresses again to ensure a secure network environment.
Developers stress the significance of guaranteeing the security of assets on the BNB Beacon Chain itself, especially in light of previous bridge exploitation incidents. While certain measures have been taken to enhance cross-chain security, such as BEP171, ensuring the security of assets within the BNB Beacon Chain remains paramount. Users should remain vigilant and ensure they are using reputable exchanges and wallets that prioritize security measures and follow any instructions provided by their exchange or wallet service providers.
The BNB Beacon Chain, as part of the Binance blockchain ecosystem, is undergoing a scheduled hard fork upgrade to enhance security features. While the majority of users don’t need to take any action, full node operators must upgrade their software version to v0.10.16 to ensure synchronization with the upgraded BNB Beacon Chain peer/validator nodes. This upgrade introduces the implementation of BEP-255 for on-chain asset reconciliation and addresses the vulnerability known as the “Rogue Key Attack.” With an increased focus on asset security within the BNB Beacon Chain, users are reminded of the significance of choosing secure exchanges and wallets to safeguard their assets in the evolving blockchain landscape.