The BNB Beacon Chain, which Binance manages, is preparing for an upcoming hard fork that will introduce substantial enhancements to its blockchain network’s security and functionality.
In an announcement on July 12, the “ZhangHeng” upgrade will be on July 19 at block height 328,088,888.
Safeguarding BNB Chain with BEP-255 implementation
The primary focus of this upgrade is integrating Binance evolution proposal BEP-255, which aims to implement an innovative mechanism known as “on-chain asset reconciliation.”
This enhancement is proactive in response to potential cross-chain bridge exploits, such as the incident on BNB Smart Chain in October 2022.
Binance believes introducing BEP-255 will significantly reduce the impact of such exploits and reinforce the security of assets on the BNB Beacon Chain.
Under BEP-255, user balance changes will be continuously tracked within each block, enabling the detection and resolution of any inconsistencies or reconciliation errors. If reconciliation errors are identified, the blockchain will promptly halt the production of new blocks.
Binance has emphasized that taking this action may cause temporary disruptions to downstream services such as bridges, deposits, and withdrawals on exchanges.
However, they believe protecting the blockchain and its users is necessary. A subsequent hard fork will be required to effectively address the identified reconciliation errors to restore full functionality.
Bug fix for rogue key attacks
Binance also announced that the upcoming hard fork will rectify a bug associated with rogue key attacks. These attacks involve malicious actors generating valid aggregate signatures for transactions using private keys that do not belong to them.
To tackle this problem, the hard fork will clear all current vote addresses. Validators must add their addresses again to guarantee continued participation and reinforce the network’s security.
In addition to security enhancements, the hard fork will improve the BNB Beacon Chain’s capability to handle more complex business rules and logic, further enhancing its overall functionality.
For a smooth transition during the hard fork, Binance emphasizes the importance of two-thirds of validators upgrading to software version v0.10.16 in advance.
Failure to upgrade may lead to complications, with full nodes unable to process subsequent blocks after the hard fork block height.
BNB Chain has provided comprehensive instructions for node operators to comply with the hard fork upgrade. However, it is important to note that BNB token holders utilizing Binance or other centralized exchanges or cold wallets are not required to take immediate action.
BNB Chain currently ranks as the fourth-largest blockchain by market capitalization, with a total value of $38 billion. It is a decentralized community project developed by Binance, the crypto exchange. Despite being one of several contributors to the project, Binance adheres to a decentralized framework, as indicated on its website.
It is worth mentioning that Binance and associated companies are currently facing a lawsuit filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The regulator claims, among other tokens, BNB, is an unregistered security.