While the Bitcoin community has been debating whether to issue a hard fork for a while now, to reduce the blocksize, the Ethereum network has taken the step forward and carried out the long-debated and anticipated fork on the blockchain.
A couple of hours ago, the China-based Ethereum miner known by the name of BW.com managed to mine the 192,000th block on the Ethereum blockchain. Just a few seconds afterwards, the mining pool also mined the first block on the new version of the blockchain, thus returning the funds that were lost during the collapse of The DAO project.
The achievement managed to return roughly $40 million worth of ether from an account owned by a mysterious hacker, into a new address. Not only were members of the network satisfied by the change, but the amount of controversy returned to a stable level.
In a recent press statement, the Co-founder of the Ethereum startup, Slock.it, but also author of most of The DAO code, Cristoph Jentzsch mentioned that: "What I witnessed during this time was remarkable feedback and support from many different sides. A lot of work needed to be done, and many people came literally out of nowhere and helped in many ways."
The hard fork represented the only solution that could be taken by the network, following numerous attempts to regain control of the funds via white-hat attacks that failed. Now that the hard fork has taken place, the funds are available to those who took them from the original smart contract to use freely. If any extra balance remains unclaimed, then it’s likely that it will be withdrawn and then distributed by The DAO curators, a couple of individuals appointed to oversee the distribution of the funds.
Since the hard fork has taken place, over 160 new blocks have been mined. While there is still controversy surrounding the move, as the decision was met with strong resistance from members of the Ethereum community, most users seem satisfied that the scandal is finally over, and that they can continue to use Ethereum normally.
Just like it is with bitcoin, hard forks can be quite dangerous for the Ethereum network. If less than 51% of mining pools agree on the changes, this can potentially lead to a separation on the network. This is the case with the Ethereum Classic project, which has recently gained more followers. In fact, as written on another blog post, “But the hard fork also marks the launch of a spin-off project: Ethereum Classic. Ethereum Classic continues on the existing Ethereum blockchain and has not implemented the hard fork code to “undo” the DAO. According to the project's website, this is because “Ethereum Classic intends to keep the original censorship-resistant Ethereum going” and “provide an alternative for people who strongly disagree with DAO bailout.”
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the Ethereum hard fork? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.