BNB Smart Chain (BSC), the blockchain network launched by the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, will perform a hard fork and upgrade on Wednesday as a fix following an Oct. 6 vulnerability, according to an announcement on Tuesday.

See related article: BNB Chain back online after around $100 mln lost in possible exploit

Fast facts

  • The hard fork will happen at the block height of 22,107,423, around Wednesday 08:00 UTC, the announcement said. Deposits and withdrawals will be paused from the previous hour of the event.
  • A hard fork is a fundamental change to a blockchain network protocol, can effectively render older versions useless, and is sometimes used to fix vulnerabilities that lead to hacking or exploits. One of the notable examples is the hard fork of Ethereum in 2016, after an exploit caused 360 million ETH loss.
  • The exploit on BSC that took place on Oct. 6 drained about US$100 million in cryptocurrencies. On Oct. 7, Binance required validators to suspend the blockchain out of security concerns but soon restored the operation later on the same day.
  • Wilson Withiam, a researcher at crypto analysis firm Messari, once pointed out in 2021 that BSC is more centralized rather than decentralized as it only has 21 active validators, adding it is “hard not to presume that each Binance Chain validator is in some way connected or tied to Binance.”
  • On Oct. 9, Changpeng Zhao, commonly known as CZ, founder and CEO of Binance (the crypto exchange that initiated the BSC), said that decentralization is a means to achieve freedom, security and ease of use, not the purpose itself.
  • BSC said on Oct. 7 that it would roll out a governance voting system after the network upgrade for voting to decide issues such as dealing with exploited funds stolen by hackers.

See related article: Disrupting the status quo: Why we need decentralization