The Ethereum Foundation Releases The Soft Fork Update

The Ethereum Foundation made public the release of a new Geth client software, featuring an update to freeze all the funds linked to The DAO, effectively making the stolen ether useless. The hacker and perpetrator of the massive heist will be unable to collect the money.

The DAO debacle is a grim chapter in the history of Crypto and the nascent Smart Contract field. After a hacker stole 3.6 million ETH from a security exploit inside the code of The DAO project a developer team comprised of Curators, Programmers, and researchers proposed the execution of a Soft Fork to freeze the stolen funds past the 27-day grace period specified by the DAO’s code. 

The new update (codename: ‘DAO Wars’) was unveiled yesterday in the official Ethereum Foundation’s Blog. Péter Szilágyi, a core developer at the foundation explained:

The last week was quite hectic for all of us in the Ethereum ecosystem. The DAO has shown us that it takes much more effort to write smart contracts than we originally anticipated; but also that it takes a surprising amount of debate to reach a consensus on issues of this scale.

The foundation and Vitalik Buterin himself understand how difficult is the situation and how hard is to satisfy those in favor and opposed to the forks. In light of this, the Ethereum organization has decided to ‘give the power to the people running Ethereum to decide whether they support this decision or not.’

Geth (the reference Ethereum implementation) reached version 1.4.8, the update will give the users the option to support a temporary freeze of the funds linked to The DAO accounts (this includes the address of the hacker). This will affect the users who made legitimate DAO splits, Szilágyi said:

As such – if the community votes to enact the soft-fork – we propose a follow up patch to the soft-fork that will whitelist all DAOs split according to the intent upheld by the enacted soft-fork.

Miners starting the geth client with the ‘–dao-soft-fork’ flag will support lower block gas limits until the deciding block 1800000 (approx. 6 days from now) is reached. Users running mist wallets and nodes don’t need to do anything, as only the miners are the ones that can decide whether to accept or reject a block.

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