A statement issued by the Ethereum Core Developers and Ethereum Security Community stated that they had taken the decision of extending the date further to start Constantinople, due to security reasons. They confirmed that their researchers had come across a possible security lapse in their software upgrade. The announcement was made just hours before the scheduled launch time.
The statement issued by Ethereum stated that ChainSecurity and TrailOfBits who were their security researchers examined the blockchain and are still working on it. Though they did not come across any such case of susceptibility but were not totally risk proof. There are always chances that some of the contracts could be artificial. The statement read “Security researchers like ChainSecurity and TrailOfBits ran (and are still running) analysis across the entire blockchain. They did not find any cases of this vulnerability in the wild. However, there is still a non-zero risk that some contracts could be affected.”
The time required to judge whether the risk is not prevalent anymore would be difficult to ascertain within the stipulated period and hence the Constantinople up-gradation was put to hold. The decision was taken as a precautionary measure too. Further, the statement said, “Because the risk is non-zero and the amount of time required to determine the risk with confidence is longer the amount of time available before the planned Constantinople upgrade, a decision was reached to postpone the fork out of an abundance of caution.”
It further also mentioned that chances of security lapses arose from EIP-1283 which gives gas at minimal rates to SSTORE operations. Researchers are of the opinion that if EIP-2183 had been operated, few contracts that were already prevalent on Ethereum could enter themselves on this digital asset again.
ChainSecurity has written about this problem in more detail giving adequate reasons for the possible vulnerability.
With the hard fork now being put on hold, cryptocurrency exchanges, miners and other node operators must shift their Ethereum software to the emergency mode or run on the earlier version that was prevalent before the fork was released. If one is not able to upgrade a node, the core Ethereum channel could be deactivated as the Constantinople fork software does not support the earlier category.
It is to be noted that those who use Ethereum, need not worry about anything to be done and that their wallets are safe. It is highly probable that scammers would want to benefit from the current happenings and deceive the asset holders and cough up their wealth.
Before the detainment, the Ethereum community was full of confidence and was eagerly waiting for the Constantinople to be operative as there would be various enhancements into the currency’s protocol. Constantinople could take the mainstream users to greater heights and would also lessen the Ethereum block reward by 33% indefinitely, that is, from 3 ether to 2 ether.
The fork was supposed to be activated at block 7080000 on 16 January and during the time of writing the block being processed was 7072694.
With the upcoming launch of Constantinople, the Ethereum price which was soaring high receded following the announcement of delay at $116 on Bitstamp from the high of the day which was at $130. No new date has been announced yet.