In an attempt to bolster the robustness of its infrastructure, BNB Beacon Chain, supervised by Binance, has announced an upcoming feature for its next hard fork. The planned provision would empower the blockchain to suspend the generation of fresh blocks under certain predefined circumstances.
The novel development, dubbed the “ZhangHeng” upgrade, was officially disclosed in a BNB Chain announcement on July 12. It is scheduled to transpire at the block height of 328,088,888, tentatively set for July 19.
This hard fork will incorporate the Binance Evolution Proposal (BEP-255). It seeks to establish an “on-chain asset reconciliation” system. Binance asserts that this mechanism could provide protection against future attacks similar to the cross-chain bridge compromise that affected BNB Smart Chain on October 7, 2022.
Despite past initiatives like BEP-171 to enhance cross-chain safety, the BNB Beacon Chain’s GitHub post on BEP-255 stated that the security of the assets on the chain itself must be fortified, especially considering past vulnerabilities.
The BEP-255 stipulates the monitoring of modifications in users’ balances within every block to detect any potential discrepancies. The ensuing consequences of this action will affect numerous downstream services like bridges, deposits, and withdrawals on exchanges, according to Binance. Despite the impact, the company argues that the step is vital to safeguard the integrity of the chain and its users.
To restore the blockchain after it has been halted, a hard fork and error reconciliation would be necessary. Accounts implicated in exploits would need to be either blacklisted or rectified. Once these issues are addressed, downstream services could be reinstated.
The impending hard fork will also bring changes to avert rogue key attacks. This preventative measure includes a bug fix to inhibit a malefactor from providing a valid aggregate signature for a transaction, an activity meant only for the rightful owner of the private keys. Once the hard fork is active, vote addresses will be reset, and validators will have to re-establish them.
The upgrade will also allow the blockchain to manage a broader range of business rules and logic. Binance underscored that at least two-thirds of validators would need to shift to software version v0.10.16 ahead of the hard fork to avoid potential complications.
Nodes that fail to upgrade will be unable to process subsequent blocks after the hard fork’s designated block height, as per BNB Chain.
While BNB Chain issued a comprehensive guide on the compliance procedures for node operators in line with the hard fork, it reassured BNB token holders using Binance.com, other centralized exchanges, or cold wallets that no immediate action is necessary.
In a related development, the BNB Chain launched opBNB, a layer-2 scaling solution compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine, based on Optimism’s OP Stack, on June 19.