Ethereum, the world’s most used blockchain, has been able to avert a loophole on its network that could have brought a double-spend attack on the network. The flaw originated from the most popular software used to verify transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
What you should know
The Ethereum blockchain is experiencing what is known as “a chain split” due to a number of network validators, also called nodes, failing to upgrade their software. This means that half of the Ethereum ecosystem split into a separate chain. A bug in the Go Ethereum (Geth) caused the split. Geth is a popular software client on the Ethereum network which about 75% of all users on the Ethereum network employ as a node to mine the blockchain’s native token, Ether, and to create software that runs functions such as decentralized applications.
The developer team behind Geth had disclosed a vulnerability 10 days ago, but did not specify the exact nature of the vulnerability. The team released an emergency hotfix to the bug in its code that would have prevented certain users from producing blocks in the form of a V.1.10.8 upgrade. According to Ethernodes.org, approximately 42% users have upgraded to the latest version.
What they are saying
According to Decrypt, at its worst, the split or fork could have caused a so-called double-spend attack, where the same Ether cryptocurrency would have traded twice during any transaction or trade. This would’ve created counterfeit currency and possibly a sharp drop in its value.
Maddie Kennedy, a spokesperson at the cryptocurrency research firm, Chainalysis stated, “This could’ve been a big problem, but it isn’t.”
In an interview with Coindesk, Go Ethereum developer Marius Van Der Wijden stated that after the disclosure 10 days ago, an exploit was inevitable. He stated, “I knew that someone would eventually find the bug. I just hoped that more people would have updated in time.” However, he felt the team responded swiftly and appropriately to the vulnerability. He stated, “I feel pretty good about our response. Once [we were] alerted to the potential chain split we found the offending transaction in a matter of minutes.”
He further emphasized that node operators should follow client teams on social media channels for updates, and noted that he’d be pushing for an open mailing list for “distributing critical information.”
Ethereum’s native token’s price seems to be unaffected, as Ether is up 4.07% as of the time of this writing. It is currently trading at $3,250.