ETH Constantinople Upgrade Coming Soon
The date for the long awaited Ethereum Hard Fork Constantinople was determined by Ethscan to happen at block 7,080,000, on January 14th, 2019. On the recent bi-weekly Dev Core Meeting, on December 6th, a vast majority of developers have reached a consensus to switch to the new version.
The Constantinople hard fork has been planned for quite a while now. The first attempt to update the Ehtereum blockchain to Constantinople, on October 13th, failed on the test network Ropsten. During the attempted upgrade, no blocks where mined for over 2 hours. When the first Constantinople block finally showed up, it was empty, and so were the following blocks that were created. One of the reasons the upgrade failed, was a consensus failure between the clients.
Nevertheless, the now upcoming Ethereum hard fork is more of an update than an attempt to split the Ethereum coin into two coins, like we have seen in the recent Bitcion Cash hard fork, that has led to quite a bit of turmoil. Constantinople will be the second of a two-part upgrade.
The first part was the Byzantium hard fork that took place in October 2017 at block 4,370,000. The “Byzantium upgrade” consisted of 9 Ethereum Improvement Protocols (EIPs). It was designed to make Ethereum lighter, faster, and more secure. Both upgrades, Byzantium and Constantinople, are part of the larger “Metropolis upgrade“.
Some expected changes of the Ethereum Hard Fork Constantinople are significant for machines to execute code. One example is Bitwise Shifting, or Binary Shifting, which will aid in form of multiplication and division, helping to compute data much faster and more energy efficient.
5 Major EIPs of the Ethereum Constantinople Upgrade
- EIP 145 involves a more efficient way to process information on the blockchain, known as ‘bitwise shifting’, and was developed by Alex Beregszaszi and Pawel Bylica.
- EIP 1052 represents a new operation code that optimizes large-scale interactions by compressing the way that channels communicate and was developed by core developer Nick Johnson and Pawel Bylica.
- EIP 1014 allows interactions with a certain type of scalling solutions based upon state channels and off-chain addresses. The author of the EIP is the creator of Ethereum himself, Vitalik Buterin.
- EIP 1283 is based on the EIP 1087, written by Nick Johnson. It aims to mainly benefit smart contract developers to introduce better pricing for data storage to run decentralized applications.
- EIP 1234 is the most contentious upgrade of Constantinople and reduces the block mining reward issuance from 3 ETH to 2 ETH and delays the difficulty bomb for 12 months. It was developed by Afri Schoeden, release manager of Parity.
Ethereum Constantinople – Hard Fork or Update?
Although, hard forks and blockchain mutations are a necessity, and a vital part of the evolution process of all cryptocurrencies, many people still associate ‘hard fork’ with something negative to happen, and major players agree that it would be probably better to call Constantinople an “update”, rather than a “hard fork”.
To make Constantinople work, all computers that are part of the Ethereum network have to update the system with new EIPs. If some of the computers don’t update, the Ethereum blockchain will effectively split in two. In this case, one part will be using the new blockchain with the changed EIPs, while the other part will continue using the old protocols.
We will keep you up to date on the latest developments of the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork and the Metropolis hard fork, here on hardforking.com. Please leave your comments and questions in the box below.