The BNB Beacon Chain, part of the Binance blockchain ecosystem, is set to experience a planned hard fork upgrade on July 19th at 6:00 UTC. This upgrade, known as “ZhangHeng” after a renowned Chinese scientist, will take place at block height 328,088,888, as stated in the official announcement on July 12th. A hard fork refers to a modification made to the software protocol that validates previously invalid blocks or transactions, or vice versa.

While the primary objective of this upgrade is to enhance overall security, it will not directly impact the majority of users. The announcement emphasizes that users who utilize exchanges supporting BNB do not need to take any action, unless specifically notified by their exchange or wallet service. However, it is crucial for full node operators on the mainnet to upgrade their software version to v0.10.16 before reaching the hard fork block height. Failure to do so will result in the node being unable to synchronize with the upgraded BNB Beacon Chain peer/validator nodes, consequently disabling the ability to connect or send transactions.

To ensure a smooth transition during the hard fork, it is necessary for two-thirds of all BNB Chain validators to upgrade their nodes. Additionally, there will be no issuance of new BNB tokens.

Enhanced Security Measures

The upcoming upgrade introduces two significant security changes. The first change is the implementation of BEP-255, a proposal for on-chain asset reconciliation on the BNB Beacon Chain. This feature aims to enhance security by tracking user balance changes in each block and reconciling them to identify any issues. In the event of reconciliation errors, the blockchain will halt the production of new blocks, triggering a “panic” response.

The second security enhancement addresses a vulnerability called the “Rogue Key Attack,” which poses a risk to the network’s Fast Finality mechanism. A bug fix will be implemented to rectify this vulnerability. When the hard fork reaches its designated height, all existing vote addresses will be removed, requiring validators to add vote addresses once again.

Developers emphasize the importance of guaranteeing the security of assets on the BNB Beacon Chain itself, particularly in light of bridge exploitation incidents. While certain enhancements have been made to enhance cross-chain security, such as BEP171, it is crucial to uphold the security of assets within the BNB Beacon Chain.

In summary, the BNB Beacon Chain, as part of the Binance blockchain ecosystem, will undergo a scheduled hard fork upgrade to enhance security features. Users of exchanges supporting BNB are not required to take any action unless explicitly instructed by their exchange or wallet service. Full node operators must upgrade their software version to v0.10.16 to ensure synchronization with the upgraded BNB Beacon Chain peer/validator nodes. The hard fork will introduce BEP-255 for on-chain asset reconciliation and address the vulnerability known as the “Rogue Key Attack.” The security of assets within the BNB Beacon Chain is of utmost importance, especially in light of previous bridge exploitation incidents.


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