With Bitcoin attracting much of the attention lately, Ethereum has been operating in the background. But with a fork on the horizon today, the cryptocurrency contender is back on the front page. And it has a rising market cap to back up its presence.
Ethereum’s Byzantium update – one of the biggest software updates yet for the crypto giant – goes into effect on October 16. The update forms part of the company’s original road map and is designed to streamline the blockchain, making it lighter and faster. This will improve both network privacy and the implementation of decentralized apps (dapps). Dapps will constitute much of Ethereum’s future excitement as a technology. Dapps are made possible thanks to the Turing-complete Ethereum Virtual Machine.
Byzantium is the first fork that forms part of the technology’s overall Metropolis update. Developers are positive that the update won’t result in a blockchain split, resulting in an Ethereum spin-off currency. Miners have already pretested the new update before its official go-live set for today.
Security vulnerability discovered
Mere days before today’s scheduled update, developers discovered a software bug. The team created a software update, urging users to update their wallets. The bug creates a denial-of-service (DoS) attack vulnerability.
[URGENT RELEASE] Update your geth clients to v1.7.2. Fixes a Byzantium EVM DoS vulnerability. Update ASAP! https://t.co/SyQdbuJ8Td
— Ethereum (@ethereumproject) October 14, 2017
There are concerns about how many users have indeed updated their clients. On Twitter, some were unimpressed with the last-minute security scramble.
Ethereum client Geth released a software update. However, at the time of going to press, mere hours before go-live, a mere 30 percent of Geth nodes had updated to version 1.7.2. Due to the fact that Geth nodes constitute 75 percent of all ethereum nodes, this could be a cause of security concern for computers running outdated software versions.
A software update by second-largest ethereum software protocol provider, Parity, has also seen low adoption rates.
The Parity team has since been outspoken that the fork should be postponed.
Fuzz tester still finding #Ethereum Byzantium bugs. Parity yday, Geth 2day. Fork should be postponed until 2 w of no bugs, as with Frontier
— Parity Technologies (@ParityTech) October 14, 2017
Thanks to smart contract company CodeTrack, you can watch the countdown to the update in real time. A live countdown ticker is counting down to the 4,370,000th block. At time of going to press, it stands at 4,369,784.
For now, the markets are positive. Ethereum is up by 1.83 percent and is currently trading at US$344.95. The market cap stands at US$32,8 billion. The next 24 hours will be telling.