The "ZhangHeng" hard fork is planned to take place on July 19. The upgrade will introduce enhanced security measures to safeguard user assets in case of a blockchain exploit.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a hard fork refers to a significant and irreversible change in a blockchain network's protocol. It requires all network nodes to upgrade to the latest software version, which results in a blockchain split into two separate paths. These forks can be planned or due to community disagreements and are crucial for blockchain network governance and evolution.
Panic mode implementation
The key component of this upgrade is the implementation of the BEP-255 (BNB Chain Evolution Proposal). According to BNB Chain's developers, this new system will track user balance changes on a block-by-block basis and perform regular reconciliation to detect any discrepancies. Notably, the revolutionary aspect of the upgrade is the introduction of a "panic" feature. If reconciliation errors are detected, this feature will halt the production of new blocks.
This drastic measure is deemed necessary to protect the network and its users. Once initiated, it will have downstream impacts on bridges, deposits, and withdrawals on exchanges. In the event of a reconciliation error, developers and community members will promptly investigate and rectify the issue to safeguard user tokens and minimize the potential for exploits like bridge attacks.
Resumption of post-panic (or normal) network operations will only occur after addressing the identified reconciliation error. This measure may require another hard fork and potentially involve blacklisting or correcting implicated accounts. Such a proactive approach ensures the chain’s security and resilience against possible cross-chain bridge exploits.
For those interested in a detailed technical description of the BEP-255, you can find it here.