An Ethereum hard fork is on the way, and it has stirred up some concern in the crypto space. Constantinople is Ethereums next big system-wide update and will be coming soon to a node near you. Finalized on August 31, 2018, Constantinople will include 5 separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). Once this update goes live, the Ethereum blockchain will see permanent changes by a host of backwards-incompatible upgrades.
Commonly known as a ‘Hard Fork’; these system-wide upgrades often spark up controversy amongst the community after the initial announcement. It’s important to note that in the case that a large number of users disagree with the proposed changes, two different versions of the blockchain may end up being used. Despite all the drama that surrounds most hard forks in the crypto space; the average user won’t notice most of the upgrades coming with the Ethereum hard fork.
Ethereum will go through several hard forks in the first month of the new year. The 3 forks that are most significant are:
We are on track! Constantinople will most likely activate on Wednesday, Jan 16th, probably around 7am UTC. Current average block time is 14.48 seconds. 104407 blocks to go (6975593/7080000).
— Afri 🌩️ Jan 16 (@5chdn) December 29, 2018
The Constantinople update is primarily an optimization and maintenance upgrade. It features very small, yet highly technical improvements to the Ethereum network’s efficiency and fee structure. In addition, it features upgrades that pave the way toward Ethereums highly anticipated roadmap for scaling. As well as this, Ethereum’s underlying economic policy will undergo changes. The difficulty bomb, a code that will be used to activate what some are calling the Ethereum ‘ice age’ as it eventually will slow new block creation to a halt, has also been delayed.
There will be 5 Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) releasing with the new update.
To summarize; these changes mainly include optimizations and maintenance. With code optimizations providing faster processing times for developers and fairer pricing structures, the quality of life on the Ethereum network has significantly improved. With all these changes potentially shaping the future of the second most blockchain on the market, it may be worth taking a look into what Ethereum’s plans are.
Ethereum will be entering the New Year with stiffer competition than the last. Despite most of the cryptocurrency market losing almost 90% of their value in a year, hard forks often weaken the support that a blockchain network has. Potentially, this Ethereum hard fork could go south. This was seen with the Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV hard fork. The hash wars that went on during this time sparked lots of controversy in the community. Eventually, the Bitcoin Cash SV price fell below that of Bitcoin Cash ABC, and the community was split.
Before the Bitcoin Cash Hard fork, there were many people that believed Bitcoin Cash could one day outgrow Bitcoin. However, after the fork, many people changed their mind, and doubted Bitcoin Cash as a whole, saying it is a waste of a coin. Historically, Bitcoin forks have led to minor drops in price for BTC. This is due to the value that was once on the Bitcoin network being split into the newly forked blockchain. For example, in July 2017, when Bitcoin Cash hard forked from the Bitcoin (BTC) network, the price of BTC went from $2800 to $2700.
While this may come as good news for the new coins that will rise due to the Ethereum hard fork, for Ethereum, there is a risk of the price of ETH taking a plunge after the fork. Though on the other hand, this Constantinople also assists Ethereum transition to a POS (Proof-of-Stake) coin is significant. That alone could see some short-term bullish sentiment on the market.
If the Ethereum project implements Constantinople and all of these new upgrades, Serenity will be next. Serenity is the name for Ethereums next release, making it run on a totally Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. All of these updates are being done in an attempt to make Ethereum an even faster, decentralized platform. The hard part, though, is implementing it all. Hard forks tend to mean bad news in the cryptocurrency space, hopefully, this won’t be another “Fall of Constantinople”. Either a successful or favourable outcome will lead us down the road to Serenity.
Could Ethereum scale Bitcoin? Ethereum tokens (ETH) has been going up in value these last 14 days regardless of the current market environment. Is this simply due to the coin fork causing more people to buy? Or is it because Ethereum is looking to give Bitcoin a run for its money? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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