As Binance’s BNB Beacon Chain advances towards a revolutionary stage in its operational capacity, the ecosystem braces itself for the imminent unveiling of a feature poised to drastically shift the paradigms of blockchain mechanics. This new facet is ingeniously designed to suspend new block production when specific conditions are satisfied, as per the underlying logic of the BNB Beacon Chain.
On July 12, the BNB Chain presented an eagerly anticipated announcement. The arrival of the “ZhangHeng” upgrade, projected to occur at block height 328,088,888, is expected around July 19. This significant hard fork paves the way for introducing Binance’s Evolution Proposal (BEP-255). This proposal aims to enable “on-chain asset reconciliation,” a feature that Binance postulates could safeguard against potential losses resulting from cross-chain bridge exploits, mirroring the unfortunate instance of the BNB Smart Chain exploit of October 7, 2022.
BNB Chain has undertaken numerous enhancements to bolster cross-chain security, for instance, BEP-171. Nevertheless, ensuring the security of assets on the BNB Beacon Chain itself warrants paramount importance, particularly in the wake of past bridge exploitation incidents. BEP-255, as outlined in the corresponding GitHub post, aims to fortify the blockchain’s defenses.
With the activation of BEP-255, the blockchain will keep a vigilant eye on user balance alterations in each block. It will then perform a thorough reconciliation to detect any discrepancies. If reconciliation anomalies are unearthed, the blockchain will respond by entering a state of panic, halting the production of fresh blocks. This proactive action, although potentially affecting services such as bridges, deposits, and withdrawals on exchanges, is necessary to protect the chain and its users.
Bringing the blockchain back to functionality necessitates a hard fork and rectifying the reconciliation error. For instance, if exploitation is detected, the corresponding accounts will be blacklisted or rectified. Post resumption of the blockchain, downstream services can be reactivated as well.
The “ZhangHeng” upgrade also incorporates a bug fix to neutralize the threat of rogue key attacks. In this scenario, an intruder generates a valid aggregate signature for a transaction, bypassing the legitimate private key owner. When achieving the hard fork height, the remedial measure involves clearing all existing vote addresses. Subsequently, validators will be required to add vote addresses once again.
In addition to these enhancements, the hard fork is set to arm the chain with the capability to manage more complex business rules and logic. However, a prerequisite for this is that two-thirds of validators must transition their software version to v0.10.16 before the hard fork, to circumvent potential complications. Non-compliant full nodes cannot execute further blocks post the hard fork block height, as per BNB Chain’s explanation.
BNB Chain has provided a comprehensive instruction set for node operators to navigate the hard fork upgrade successfully. Token holders using Binance.com or other centralized exchanges or cold wallets need not take immediate action now.
As we look forward to this significant upgrade, it’s clear that the BNB Beacon Chain is committed to enhancing its security features and operational capacity, promising a more secure and efficient future for its users.
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