Ethereum's Hard Fork is a Lesson for the Bitcoin Community


Ethereum's Hard Fork is a Lesson for the Bitcoin Community

It seems the Ethereum community is prepping for a hard fork for around July 20 or depending on how fast the hash rate approaches block height 1920000. This has renewed spirit within the community as the price has bounced back about 5% at the time of this writing.  

Also read: SolidX Files to Become First Bitcoin ETF on NY Stock Exchange

Ethereum’s Hard Fork Will Be Closely Watched

ethereumThe Kraken exchange has recently stated that during the hard fork implementation Ether deposits and withdrawals will be stopped during the process. All Ether held on the exchange will be fine and eventually tokens will be tethered to the winning chain.

Kraken adds:   

ETH deposits and withdrawals will be enabled again once the winning chain has become clearly evident. We expect the hard fork process to be smooth and quick, but there is no certainty of this.

The Ethereum Foundation has released a blog post concerning the hard fork as well to notify the community. Developer Jeffrey Wilcke announced on July 15 that the hard fork will be  implemented in the Geth client for users and infrastructure to adopt if they choose to run the client. The hard fork is aimed to erase the implications of the lost Ether that was disturbed through the infamous DAO attack, where roughly $50 million in Ether was drained from the account.

Wilcke says consensus for the code in Geth’s logic will be covered by a bug bounty program. He also explains that the community tool carbonvote will also be used to set the default fork option for Geth. The votes will be tallied at block height 1894000 and a decision will be made on whether the community will fork or not.

He details the next steps after votes are finalized to move forward with the hard fork integration:    

Then merging the DAO fork PRs will proceed, followed shortly by a release for both Geth and Mist. Users with business-critical applications who need to update quickly should frequently check the blog and social media for ongoing updates.

The community seems optimistic at the moment and it’s currently unconfirmed if other exchanges will be participating in the halting of deposits and withdrawals.

People are also wondering what will happen to the $50 million in “stolen” Ether after a hard fork gets implemented. It has been said that the token will go to a curator’s multisig address and then be distributed back to the rightful owners. Not only will the hard fork reverse the loss, it will also cover all edge cases including the 30% ETH losses from DAO token holders who split after the attack, says developer Christoph Jentzsch.

The code can be reviewed here and here on GitHub. Jentzsch explains the code should be reviewed in great detail saying:    

At this point, what remains to be done is double and triple checking every line of code used. The goal was always to keep the code used as simple as possible. This is all open source and the data needed is available on the blockchain. Everyone can review it. Please do so!


The upcoming Ethereum hard fork will be interesting to watch as it may not go as smoothly as it is designed, especially since many people would like to see a block size hard fork integrated into the Bitcoin blockchain.

People will surely be focusing on exchanges and the fiat value of Ether as implementation happens throughout the network. The Ethereum blockchain is only a year old and what happens to the protocol with an implemented hard fork that will reverse the DAO attack is anyone’s guess. In any case, the Ethereum community seems hopeful while the Bitcoin community will be watching closely.

What do you think about Ethereum’s upcoming hard fork? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags in this story
Block Size Debate, DAO Attack, Ethereum, Hard Fork, Jeffrey Wilcke, Kraken

Images courtesy of Pixabay, and the Ethereum blog

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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