The Ethereum price (ETH/USD) has seen a significant drop following a delay of a milestone hard fork.
The third-largest cryptocurrency on the market spent the better part of yesterday’s session defending its Monday gains. The coin was largely stable throughout most of the day and even managed to rise to an intraday high of $130.74 in the afternoon, which was only slightly below its Monday high. However, in the final hours of the session, the coin suffered a sharp drop, which erased most of its recent progress. After falling to an intraday low of $120.31, the coin finished the day at $122.03, well below its opening price of $129.17.
Ethereum has managed to recoup some of the loss on Wednesday, racking up modest gains in the early hours of the session. At the time of writing, the Ethereum price was hovering around the $124 mark, according to data from digital currency tracker Coinmarketcap.
All this happens ahead of the highly anticipated Constantinople hard fork, which is expected to delay a scheduled increase of mining difficulty, reduce mining rewards to compensate for the delay and make it cheaper to perform certain tasks on the Ethereum network. However, it has been reported that the upgrade, which was expected to take place this week, has been delayed after it was discovered that implementing one of the changes could create a critical vulnerability in the Ethereum protocol.
As reported by industry website Coindesk, smart contract audit firm ChainSecurity warned yesterday that Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1283, if implemented, could provide attackers a loophole in the code to steal user funds. In light of this discovery, Ethereum developers, including the protocol’s creator Vitalik Buterin, decided to postpone the hard fork while they assessed the issue.
In today’s trading, the Ethereum price stood at $124.19, as of 09:58 GMT. The digital coin has lost nearly 3% of its value in the past 24 hours.