On Monday, developers of the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain announced a hard fork to implement the project’s latest version, now scheduled for launch in late July. The upgrade, which the community has dubbed “Magneto,” will include the four Ethereum Improvement Proposals, or EIPs, first seen in Ethereum’s Berlin upgrade earlier this year. These proposals are meant to improve the network’s security, while saving on gas costs by storing addresses and keys in one place for users to access with a single transaction.
Beta testing on ETC’s Morder and Kotti testnets began on June 2 and June 9, respectively. The Magneto fork is set to officially occur once these tests have concluded. Stevan Lohja, developer relations manager for Mantis — a full-featured client and wallet for Ethereum Classic — told the ETC community: “To ensure a successful fork, we ask ETC consumers to upgrade their node software to a Magneto compatible version if they have not done so already. If you’re not operating nodes or services, but use ETC through other services, then check with that service to ensure they’re supporting the Magneto hard fork.”
Ethereum Classic was originally created under rocky circumstances back in 2016. The protocol forked from the Ethereum (ETH) mainnet due to the $60 million hack of a project known simply as “the DAO” — an early decentralized autonomous organization. Following the exploit, Ethereum’s developers decided to roll back the malicious transactions in an attempt to circumvent the hacker and return the stolen funds to their proper owners.
Some believed that undoing these transactions would in effect override one of Ethereum’s core tenets — “Code is law”. These users felt that it was better to accept the loss and learn from the engineering mistakes that allowed the hacker to siphon the funds. As a result, the Ethereum Classic project forked away from Ethereum in an effort to preserve what some felt was the most accurate representation of the project’s blockchain.