In an upcoming hard fork, the BNB Beacon Chain mainnet, operated by Binance, is set to introduce a new feature that allows the blockchain to halt the production of new blocks under specific conditions. The upgrade, named “ZhangHeng,” is scheduled to occur at block height 328,088,888, which is estimated to take place on July 19, … Read more
In an upcoming hard fork, the BNB Beacon Chain mainnet, operated by Binance, is set to introduce a new feature that allows the blockchain to halt the production of new blocks under specific conditions. The upgrade, named “ZhangHeng,” is scheduled to occur at block height 328,088,888, which is estimated to take place on July 19, according to a statement from BNB Chain.
The key addition in the hard fork is the implementation of the Binance evolution proposal BEP-255, which aims to enable “on-chain asset reconciliation.” This feature is designed to mitigate the potential damage caused by cross-chain bridge exploits, such as the BNB Smart Chain exploit that occurred on October 7, 2022. The goal is to enhance the security of assets on the BNB Beacon Chain itself, especially in light of previous bridge vulnerabilities.
Under the BEP-255 proposal, user balance changes will be tracked and reconciled in each block to identify any issues. If reconciliation errors occur, the blockchain will enter a state of panic and cease the production of new blocks. While this action will impact downstream services like bridges, deposits, and withdrawals on exchanges, Binance deems it necessary to protect the integrity of the chain and its users. Resuming the blockchain will require a hard fork and addressing the reconciliation error, which may involve blacklisting or correcting related accounts.
“When there are reconciliation errors, the blockchain will panic and stop producing new blocks.”
Another change introduced in the hard fork is a bug fix to prevent rogue key attacks. This security issue involves an attacker producing a valid aggregate signature for a transaction without owning the true private keys. To fix this bug, all existing vote addresses will be cleared when the hard fork reaches a certain height, requiring validators to add vote addresses again.
BNB Beacon Chain’s capability
The hard fork also aims to enhance the BNB Beacon Chain’s capability to handle more complex business rules and logic. Binance emphasizes that at least two-thirds of validators must switch their software version to v0.10.16 before the hard fork to avoid complications. Full nodes that fail to upgrade will not be able to process further blocks after the specified block height of the hard fork.
BNB Chain provides detailed instructions for node operators on how to comply with the hard fork upgrade. However, for BNB token holders who use Binance.com or other centralized exchanges or cold wallets, no immediate action is required.
Additionally, on June 19, BNB Chain launched opBNB, a new layer-2 scaling solution compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, based on Optimism’s OP Stack. This solution aims to improve scalability and performance for BNB transactions on the Binance Chain.
The forthcoming hard fork and the introduction of new features signify Binance’s commitment to enhancing the security and functionality of the platform. By addressing reconciliation errors, fixing bugs, and enabling more complex business rules, Binance aims to maintain the integrity of the blockchain and protect user assets.