Ethereum Classic: Atlantis Hard Fork Postponed Due to Technical Reasons

The developers of Ethereum Classic (ETC), a leading Turing Complete and proof-of-work (PoW)-based blockchain network, have reportedly decided to postpone the launch of a major system-wide upgrade to the cryptocurrency platform.

The Atlantis hard fork upgrade, which consists of 10 different ethereum classic improvement proposal (ECIPs), has been under review since February of this year.

Bringing "ETC Up-to-Date with ETH's Latest Protocol”

In statements shared with CoinDesk, Bob Summerwill, the Executive Director of Ethereum Classic Cooperative, confirmed that the Atlantis hard fork update is the first of two major protocol upgrades that will integrate improvement proposals on Ethereum Classic that have already been activated on Ethereum (ETH) during the past few years.

He also mentioned:

These upgrades would bring ETC up to date with ETH’s latest protocol, making migration of dApps between the networks much easier.

Several Ethereum Classic developers are now hesitating to move forward with EIP 170 as they expressed concerns, during a recent meeting, about integrating it as part of the upcoming Atlantis hard fork. As noted in a blog post published on Ethereum.org by community manager Hudson Jameson (in November 2016), EIP 170 proposes a change to the “contract code size limit.”

“Vitally Important to Stick to Pre-Agreed Rules”

The Ethereum Core developers had stated (at that time) that EIP 170 recommends changing the “maximum code size that a contract on the blockchain can have.” This update aims to “prevent an attack scenario” where large sections of the cryptocurrency’s codebase can be “accessed repeatedly at a fixed gas cost.”

Commenting on the suggested codebase modifications, ETC developer Anthony Lusardi noted on a GitHub page related to the Atlantis upgrade (the “final call”):

These rules can simply be applied to transaction validation rather than block validation, making it a soft fork rather than a hard fork… It’s vitally important to stick to pre-agreed rules when they’re defined.

He added that this will make no meaningful difference, as ETC miners will be able to run “one of the clients” that is able to exclude these types of transactions by default and “future blocks will not contain any such transactions.”

Currently, there is no exact date or time for the Atlantis hard fork that has announced by Ethereum Classic’s developers. According to ETC developer soc1c:

Let’s just acknowledge there’s discussion around EIP 170 and take this time, another one or two weeks [to talk about] what the problem [might be] with a maximum code size limit and how to move on.

Atlantis Hard Fork Was Expected to Go Live at Block 8,750,000

In early April 2019, the Atlantis hard fork had been scheduled to go live at block 8,750,000, however the cryptocurrency’s developers will now have to again decide when to activate the hard fork upgrade.

In an interview with CryptoGlobe in October 2018, Ethereum Classic community coordinator Donald McIntyre argued that ETC has an “incredibly unique market positioning.” This, as McIntyre noted it’s the only PoW-powered and Turing Complete crypto platform.

While ETH, a fork of the original Ethereum chain (which ETC has preserved) after the DAO attack, is also Turing Complete and based on PoW consensus, its developers intend to eventually switch to a proof-of-stake (PoS)-based consensus.

Interoperability Between ETH and ETC

In addition to establishing unique and legitimate use cases for ETC, Ethereum Classic's developers aim to introduce key changes to the blockchain network that may allow for interoperability between Ethereum Classic and Ethereum (ETH).

Last month, McIntyre told CryptoGlobe:

A useful analogy is to see ETH as a sports car and ETC is an armored vehicle. The problem is to think that ETH can be an armored vehicle and ETC can be a sports car. ETH is about scaling and performance and ETC is about high value and security.