Since the June 17 attack on the DAO, the Ethereum Network has not remained the same. Evident in this scenario is the falling price of the network’s cryptocurrency, Ether.

Soft fork

Speaking during the Dutch Blockchain conference, Gavin Wood, co-Founder of Ethereum said: “Assuming no further security issues, stolen Ether will remain illiquid for 39days. Then it will be completely fungible and may be exchanged or sold”.

Wood outlines the three possible options available for the Ethereum community in handling the DAO attack:

  1. Do Nothing: By taking this approach, Wood says that most of the stolen Ether will go to the attacker(s) and then perhaps to the market.
  2. Soft Fork: The stolen Ether becomes blocked indefinitely
  3. Hard Fork: Stolen Ether gets returned proportionately to DAO tokens held.

On June 20, Ethereum announced that it was going to implement the ‘Soft Fork’ option after the community voted in its favour, a procedure that Wood describes as a low risk measure that involves altering the network protocol slightly by nudging it into a certain direction in other to freeze the stolen funds.

Gavin Wood, co-Founder of Ethereum

U-Turn from Soft fork

More drama has unfolded as Ethereum has called off its original Soft Fork procedure, the Geth’s 1.4.8 version after finding out that it could allow an attacker to effectively SPAM and effectively freeze the Ethereum network.

The Ethereum Foundation introduced the Geth client version 1.4.9 that rolls back the changes made in the previous soft-fork-enabled software.

According to the developer, Felix Lange, in a blogpost by the Ethereum foundation,

“An attack vector has been identified in the freshly released implementation of the DAO soft fork. The fork enactment code in geth (and other clients) allows execution of EVM code up to the block gas limit without paying for gas. This can slow down mining and prevent inclusion of legitimate transactions.”

Lange added that other available options can be considered and that the community can avoid any negative consequences of the soft fork by voting against it until a better solution has been found.

Problems ahead

Speaking to Cointelegraph, co-Founder at Cashila, Jani Valjavec acknowledged the rollback, but says it is actually a tiny vector which he doubts may be capable of freezing the entire Ethereum network.

“It's tiny. I am not sure of its ability to freeze the whole Ethereum network, but it might cause some problems for some time, maybe few hours, maybe days.”