On 27th July, Ethereum developers announced that the new Ethereum hard fork, Constantinople will be released sometime during the second week of October. The announcement was made during a developer and stakeholder meet that addressed the issues in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry with a focus on further upgrades.
The developers also revealed that the test code for the hard fork is being run multiple times by the Foundation and that the key objective is to make sure the transition occurs smoothly. The Ethereum team has also stated that the hard fork will be created to usher in a new age of blockchain network usage. The developers have also said that they are going to make the Mainnet less expensive and much more efficient to use.
The officials of the Ethereum foundation have revealed that:
“Some of the updates that have reached the implementation phase include EIP 210, which reorganizes the way block hashes are stored in Ethereum, and EIP 145, which increases the speed of arithmetic in the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM). “
The team has also announced that there are two more updates in the pipeline: one that will add Ethereum status channels and the other that will change the way smart contracts interact with one another.
The Constantinople hard fork will be the second in a series of upgrades that was kickstarted with the release of Byzantium which went live in October 2017. Byzantium went live at block 4,370000 of the Ethereum blockchain and consisted of nine Ethereum Improvement Protocols [EIPs]. The goal of this release was to improve the Ethereum network’s privacy, scalability, and the security protocols.
The following are the main features of the Byzantium hard fork:
- Embedding Transaction Status Code in Receipts
The Byzantium hard fork enables parallel processing of multiple transactions which increases the networks ability to speed up task execution. This is done by communicating transaction statuses using successive blocks thereby starting a series of parallel processes.
- Enhancing Cryptography
The upgrade brought in the code for the implementation of four smart contracts that reduced the power required to execute zk-snarks. Zk-snarks is a cryptography type that is being increasingly used in the cryptosphere due to its ease of use and high-security standards.
- Reducing rewards
The Ethereum network has the concept of rewarding its users with ethers for building blocks. The Byzantium hard fork has brought down the number of ethers given to users from five to three per block.
The developers at the conference have gone ahead and stated that they are trying to avoid a controversy like the one that led to the Ethereum Classic hard fork back in 2016. The reason for the hard fork was that a part of the Ethereum community was unhappy with security measures of the network, which occurred after the $50 million Ethereum network hack.
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