Close To The Wire: Revised Parity Software Finally Released

Ethereum’s second-largest software provider, Parity, has released its final Byzantium release days before the highly anticipated hard fork. In the nick of time, Parity’s core developers released the latest of four updates to their software, as the previous three updates contained the “consensus bug.” The flaw in the software could potentially force network nodes, the computers underlying the blockchain, to inadvertently split into various blockchains. Ethereum’s developing team considered a delay in the fork earlier today, as Parity is responsible for sustaining nearly 25 percent of the Ethereum blockchain. The situation luckily has been saved by the Parity development team, as the Byzantium fork is scheduled for block 4,300,000, days away.

Panic Setting In

These newly discovered bugs have wreaked havoc on some developer’s confidence towards the benefit of the upgrades but the general consensus across the board is pretty optimistic. Voicing this concern on Reddit, one user said, “The Silicon Valley philosophy of 'fail fast' is not suited, in my opinion, to permissionless blockchains where millions of dollars are at stake.” Other users urged Ethereum to delay the hard fork, saying"Push it back, make sure there are no errors guys. This is worth it. Don't rush." Afri Schoedon, a Parity developer, jumped on the Reddit forum to respond to the proposed delay, explaining that the delay would be more complex due to the work the developers have already done to execute the fork. In order to move the hard fork to a later date, the clients of the Ethereum software would have to issue new releases containing the new fork number, turning out to be not as simple as some might have speculated. Schoedon summarized: "Pushing a fix for one client implementation is easier than pushing an update containing the delay for all clients, especially if this happens on such a short notice." Schoedon, along with other major heads within the Ethereum space, believes this hardship is a good opportunity to learn and grow for next hard fork. Waiting first for the client to upgrade and implement the necessary upgrades before releasing a hard fork block number.  

Tests, Tests, and More Tests

“Fuzzing” has been a test implementation added to the new releases, which involves clashing code against itself until defects arise.The process is extensive and will reveal minuscule exploits that aren’t easily identifiable.   Ethereum isn’t without its enemies. On its test network Posten, a lone hacker continued to spam the platform. It is believed that they did this for no material profit and continued in the run-up to the hard fork forcing developers to move to a private test network. It’s still highly unlikely that Parity will carry these issues into the Byzantium hard fork, with developers working around the clock. More information will continue to surface as the push towards the hard fork continues. Featured Image: twitter

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