The BNB Smart Chain (BSC) is heading towards a hard fork close on the heels of the 6 October exploit that saw the platform lose about $100 million, leading to a temporary halt in its operations. The technology fix is scheduled to happen on 12 October.
The news about the impending hard fork of the blockchain closely linked to cryptocurrency exchange Binance was announced through a post on 11 October on GitHub, the code hosting platform. The BNB Chain consists of BNB Smart Chain (BSC) and BNB Beacon Chain.
A hard fork is usually undertaken by a blockchain protocol to implement fundamental changes to its governance structure or to fix loopholes that led to hacks or exploits as is the case with the Binance Chain.
The post said that the hard fork is a “temporary urgent patch to mitigate the cross-chain infrastructure between Beacon Chain and Smart Chain so that the cross-chain can be re-enabled back.” It further stated that the hard fork is for both the testnet and mainnet. For context, a testnet is a testing area for developers to build blockchain applications or test out specific capabilities without risking the main chain. In contrast, mainnet is the main blockchain that is fully operational for users.
The hard fork, which is called Moran, will take place at block height 22,107,423, which is scheduled to happen on 12 October at 8:00 a.m. UTC. The success of the hard fork will see several upgrades to the Binance blockchain, including fixing a vulnerability in the iavl hash check and introducing block header in sequence checks.
The release from Binance said the users of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network must note that deposits and withdrawals will be suspended an hour before the hard fork and will be re-started once the upgraded network is deemed stable.
More about hard forks
Hard forks are considered radical upgrades to a protocol. Several hard forks have happened in the crypto world. Many blockchains have undergone hard forks in the past, including Bitcoin, when it was split into two separate chains, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, in 2017.