Over the weekend, several Ethereum mining pools officially accepted the soft fork after a vote. Users from each pool had to decide whether or not to adopt the soft fork to prevent the DAO hacker from moving the stolen Ether.
On June 17, a hacker(s) was able to remove more than 3.6 million Ether from various accounts through a loophole in the system. The Ether was transferred to a child DAO where access to the funds will not be granted for another 27 days.
To prevent any more damage, Vitalik Buterin proposed a soft fork. The proposal will temporarily freeze the funds and have a community counterattack (a few whitelisted accounts) to restore the stolen funds. Though a few voiced their objection, an overwhelming number of users have voted “yes” to move forward with the soft fork.
A breakdown on the mining pools:
The voting process began last week after the Ethereum Foundation released a new version of Geth, 1.4.8, a.k.a. “DAO Wars”. Péter Szilágyi explained how the new release would work for those who support the soft fork.
“This will cause the block gas limits to be lowered towards Pi million until the deciding block 1800000 (approx. 6 days from now) is reached. If the gas limit of this block is below or equal 4M, the soft-fork goes into effect and (all updating) miners will start blocking DAO transactions that release funds,” he said.
Those who opposed the soft fork can still add the update without participating or just leave their Geth as is, Szilágyi continued.
He did, however, make it clear that a soft fork was needed or else non-updating miners would create their own fork on the Ethereum network. Thereby, fully accepting the hacker’s transactions.
A hard fork was also proposed as another solution at the time of the hack. This proposal would be more aggressive than the soft fork as it would strip all the 3.6 million stolen Ether and return them to the DAO. This would very likely end the DAO as we know it. This proposal was heavily criticized by many members within the crypto community.