[TIP-2] Navigating the Hard Fork Process in TON Blockchain: A Technical Exploration

In the dynamic landscape of blockchain technology, ensuring the robustness and resilience of a network against unforeseen vulnerabilities is paramount. This document delves into the intricate process of conducting a hard fork within the TON Blockchain framework, a necessary maneuver to mitigate fatal network shutdowns triggered by bugs or vulnerabilities. Our discussion spans both the technical and organizational facets required to seamlessly coordinate a network reboot.

Hard Fork Mechanism Overview

A hard fork, or a rollback action, is initiated to rectify critical network issues without compromising the integrity and continuity of the blockchain. This process involves generating a new block through a create-hardfork operation, which incorporates a configuration update, specifically targeting ConfigParam34 to redefine the validator set. This ensures the network’s validation process continues unhindered with a refreshed validator roster.

Technical Workflow

  1. Validator Set Update: A new validator set is established by generating a config query with an updated ConfigParam34 via update-config.fif. This list must be comprehensive enough to sustain the hardforked configuration, initially incorporating at least one validator.

  2. Block Generation: A new block is generated, predating the latest block by a minimum of one hundred blocks, using the create-hardfork utility. This step is critical for ensuring the network’s capacity to incorporate the hardfork without disrupting its operational continuity.

  3. Configuration and Validation:

    • The generated hardfork block is integrated into the global.config.json under the hardfork section.
    • Validators are restarted with the new configuration, with a validation commencement check following shortly after.
  4. Stabilization and Connectivity: Post-validation, efforts to stabilize the network and establish connectivity between nodes are undertaken. Challenges such as the ‘inited_next_left’ error and issues related to state serialization and node synchronization are addressed through technical adjustments and strategic planning.

Research Questions and Next Steps

Our ongoing research seeks to resolve key questions, including the causative factors behind specific errors post-hardfork and the optimal strategies for network configuration adjustments during the hardfork process without exclusive reliance on the config master key. Further, considerations on the validator set composition and potential utility of additional parameters in the hardfork creation process are under exploration.


The hard fork process within the TON Blockchain represents a sophisticated technical endeavor, necessitating a deep understanding of both the blockchain’s architecture and the procedural nuances involved in executing such a critical operation. As we continue to refine our approach and address the outlined research questions, our goal remains to enhance the resilience and efficiency of the TON Blockchain, ensuring its robust defense against vulnerabilities and its continued evolution in the blockchain ecosystem.

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