Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork to Activate by Late February

| Updated
by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork to Activate by Late February
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

During the latest developer meeting, the core team agreed to adopt a “two-fork” to implement Constantinople safely on the Ethereum network.

Earlier this week, Ethereum’s core developer team decided to postpone the Constantinople hard fork citing a critical security vulnerability. Smart contract audit firm ChainSecurity said that it has found a loophole in the Constantinople hard fork software. The attackers could exploit this and withdraw user funds through a reentrancy attack.

Yesterday, January 18, Ethereum lead developer Peter Szilagyi confirmed that the Constantinople activation could occur on ETH block number 7,280,000. He also said that the tentative date for the activation could be of the 27th of February, next month.

The latest proposal was made during a developer call on Friday evening. The decision took place in presence of Ethereum creator Vitalik Burterin and other core developers including Hudson Jameson, Lane Rettig, Afri Schoedon, Péter Szilágyi, Martin Holste Swende, Danny Ryan and Alexey Akhunov, among others.

Taking a “Two-Fork” Strategy

During the hard fork implementation next month, the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) 1283 won’t be included due to the critical bugs found in it. Hence, the Ethereum developers have discussed a “two-fork” strategy to make sure the entire network gets onboard as per the plan.

The first upgrade will involve five original EIPs while the second upgrade will remove the buggy EIP 1283. During the conference call, Szilágyi explained:

“My suggestion is to define two hard forks, Constantinople as it is currently and the Constantinople fix up which just disables this feature…By having two forks everyone who actually upgraded can have a second fork to actually downgrade so to speak”.

This way they can ensure that the test network and the private network has completely implemented Constantinople upgrade without rolling back any blocks.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin also backed this decision of adopting the “two-fork” approach. Buterin said that it was a good idea as the upcoming “difficulty bomb” was approaching faster. He explained:

“Right now block times are already increased something like 9% from the ice age. So in six weeks let’s say we’re rolling in two steps up from the ice age, which would take block times maybe up to 20-21 seconds. If we were to be more aggressive and say something like 3 weeks, then we could avoid a big step like that.”

Furthermore, Buterin concluded that the six-week timeline is realistic and fair at the moment. The five EIPs which will be implemented through the Constantinople upgrade are expected to bring significant improvements in terms of efficiency, speed, gas, scalability, cost and other things.

The arrival of Constantinople is expected to revive the ETH price and set a new stage for Ethereum’s progress.

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