A Guide to BNB Chain’s Recent Hard Forks

Blog post image.

The BNB Chain ecosystem is in the midst of significant transformations, marked by a series of recent and upcoming hard forks across its various chains. These updates promise to revolutionize the BNB Chain landscape, introducing new features, optimizing existing functionalities, and enhancing user experiences. Let’s delve into the completed and upcoming forks, exploring their implications and the exciting prospects they bring to the table.

Completed Forks

Tycho Hard Fork

The Tycho hard fork, a pivotal upgrade for BNB Smart Chain (BSC), introduces support for Blob Transactions, which completes its Testnet in April 2024, with the Mainnet update anticipated around mid-June 2024. 

Blob Transactions, enabled by BEP-336, are poised to streamline transaction verification processes by utilizing temporary memory segments called blobs. These blobs, capable of capturing large data chunks, optimize network efficiency by reducing operational costs and gas fees.

While both BSC and Ethereum are integrating blob transactions, their implementation methods and architectures differ significantly. BSC embeds blob blocks directly into its nodes, whereas Ethereum houses blob blocks on the Consensus Layer. Additionally, BSC employs a dynamic pricing model for blobs within a predefined range, whereas Ethereum relies solely on dynamic pricing.

The introduction of blob transactions on BSC unlocks a myriad of use cases, including:

  • L2 Rollups Enhancement: Blob transactions significantly enhance the efficiency of Layer 2 rollups, leading to higher throughput, reduced fees, and improved network speed.
  • Data Markets: Secure and economical blob storage facilitates the development of vibrant data markets, incentivizing participants to share valuable data and fostering innovation.
  • Decentralized Applications (Dapps): Blob transactions empower Dapps to handle large datasets directly on the blockchain, reducing dependence on external storage solutions and promoting decentralization.

Upcoming Forks

Erdos Hard Fork on BNB Greenfield

The BNB Greenfield network is gearing up for the Erdos hard fork, introducing a plethora of updates and enhancementsScheduled for implementation, it promises to elevate user experiences and developer capabilities within the ecosystem:Testnet Serengeti hardfork: May 16th at 07:00 AM UTC.

Mainnet Serengeti hardfork: May 29th at 07:00 AM UTC.

Key Actions Required for Validators and Storage Providers

Validators and Storage Providers (SPs) must upgrade to the latest version (greenfield v1.7.1 for Validators and greenfield-storage-provider v1.7.1 for SPs) before the hard fork to ensure seamless transition and uninterrupted services.

Notable Updates for Greenfield

  • Introduction of new cross-chain channels and corresponding cross-app functionalities.
  • Implementation of storage fee paymaster to streamline storage expense management for project owners.
  • User experience improvements based on feedback, including enhanced cross-chain programming and streamlined operations.

opBNB Hardforks

The opBNB community can anticipate some significant adjustments ahead. We’re preparing for the opBNB testnet hardfork, which will alter the logic of Distributed Applications (DA) from “calldata” to “blob”. 

This change is expected to lead to a noticeable reduction in the cost of opBNB, making the platform more cost-effective for users. Scheduled between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM UTC on May 15, 2024, the hard forks are set to roll out on the opBNB Testnet.

For further details, please refer to the release notes provided here

Sunset Forks on BNB Beacon Chain

Two significant sunset forks are slated for the BNB Beacon Chain, marking the retirement and cessation of certain functionalities.

Second Sunset Fork (May 2024): Disables governance and delegation on Beacon Chain, automatically undelegating assets and halting further delegation activities.

Final Sunset Fork (June 2024): Retires Beacon Chain, disconnects cross-chain communication with BSC, archives data, and generates balance dumps for community verification.

In Conclusion

The recent and upcoming hard forks on BNB Chain herald a new era of innovation, efficiency, and user-centricity within the ecosystem. From optimizing transaction processes to enhancing storage capabilities and retiring legacy chains, these forks underscore BNB Chain’s commitment to evolution and progress. As stakeholders embrace these changes and adapt to the evolving landscape, the future of BNB Chain shines brighter than ever, poised for continued growth and success.