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BNB Beacon Chain Introduces ‘Panic’ Feature for Enhanced Security



The BNB Beacon Chain, owned by Binance, is preparing for the upcoming “ZhangHeng” hard fork scheduled for July 19. This significant upgrade aims to enhance the security of the blockchain by introducing new features. One major improvement is the ability to pause block production under specific conditions.

According to a statement released on July 12, the BNB Chain expects the “ZhangHeng” upgrade to occur at block height 328,088,888. The implementation of Binance Evolution Proposal BEP-255 is also part of this hard fork. BEP-255 focuses on on-chain asset reconciliation to mitigate potential damage resulting from cross-chain bridge exploits, including the BNB Chain exploit that occurred on October 7, 2022.

According to a GitHub post by Binance, BEP-255 ensures that user balance changes are carefully tracked and reconciled in each block to spot any problems. If reconciliation errors are detected, the blockchain will enter a state of panic, halting the creation of new blocks. 

According to Binance, this measure is necessary to safeguard the chain and its users, despite potential impact on downstream services like bridges, deposits, and withdrawals from exchanges. Resuming the blockchain will require a hard fork, and the reconciliation issue will need to be fixed, which can entail blacklisting or updating pertinent accounts.

Additionally, the “ZhangHeng” hard fork addresses the prevention of “Rogue Key Attacks.” This security issue occurs when an attacker produces a valid aggregate signature for a transaction instead of the true owner of the private keys. To fix this bug, all existing vote addresses will be cleared up at the hard fork’s designated height, requiring validators to add vote addresses again.

The hard fork also intends to improve the BNB Beacon Chain’s capacity to manage logic and business rules that are increasingly intricate. At least two-thirds of validators must upgrade to version v0.10.16 before the hard fork, according to Binance, for a smooth transition. Full nodes won’t be able to process new blocks after the hard fork block height unless they upgrade.

BNB Chain has provided detailed instructions for node operators to comply with the hard fork upgrade. However, BNB token holders utilizing, other centralized exchanges, or cold wallets are currently not required to take any action.

Meanwhile, on June 19, BNB Chain launched opBNB, a brand-new layer-2 scaling solution based on Optimism’s OP Stack that is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).


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