Ethereum’s Much Awaited Constantinople Hard Fork to Occur at Block Number 7,080,000

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read

During the latest developers’ meet, the team members looked confident about the release of Constantinople hard fork by mid of January 2019.

On Friday, December 8, Ethereum core-developers gathered for a bi-weekly wherein the reached to an important conclusion on the much-awaited Constantinople hard fork. The core developers’ team finally agreed to launch the hard fork on block number 7,080,000. Afri Schoedon, the release manager for Parity Ethereum client says that this can tentatively happen between January 14-18.

The Constantinople upgrade will be a major overhaul to the Ethereum network. Some of the major changes include solving the issues with difficulty bomb, ProgPow implementation, and others. However, the Ethereum developers have been struggling for the Constantinople upgrade for quite some time.

The decision to postpone Constantinople first arrived in October after the “consensus issue” on trial upgrade on the Ropsten testnet. Later, during the November’s developer meeting, the core teams members agreed to push the hard fork to mid-January. Core developer Péter Szilágyi said: “We can just say mid-January, it doesn’t make difference if we decide on a date or not. We can always postpone.”

Key Take-Aways from the Latest Developers’ Meet

Needless to say, the upcoming Constantinople hard fork will bring the essential design changes to streamline Ethereum’s platform code.

  • Difficulty Bomb: The difficulty bomb means the increase in difficulty of mining new blocks on the Ethereum network. However, on the latest conference-call meet, developers agreed to delay the “difficulty bomb” to the period of 18 months. Additionally, they also agreed to move ahead with reducing the mining rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH.
  • ProgPow Implementation: Etheruem’s current Proof-of-Work algorithm demands specialized mining hardware like the ASICs. Knowing that ASIC chips are costly, the mining of ETH gets largely concentrated in the hands of big players. The ProgPow aims at enhancing Ethereum’s resistance to specialized mining hardware like ASICs. So far, the development with ProgPow is going smoothly. However, the developers have yet to arrive at a decision on ProgPow inclusion with the next upgrade.

“We are getting the options out there and then make a decision later on,” said Martin Swende, security-lead at the Ethereum Foundation. “ProgPoW has not been decided as something we are definitely putting in or doing. Same with any of the working groups we discussed today,” said Hudson Jameson, communications officer for the Ethereum Foundation.

  •  Ethereum 1x: This is another important Ethereum upgrade aimed for release in 2019. Groups working on Ethereum 1x upgrade gave accounts of the progress made so far. However, they stressed that the development is in the initial stage. Hudson Jameson following discussions on social media agreed that they would publicly conduct the roadmap for the 1x upgrade. “We are just going to have open meetings for now,” Jameson said.

Martin Swende, who is also a security lead for the go-ethereum client said that the Constantinople upgrade will also have a safety feature. Swende said that the go-ethereum software release will feature an emergency switch to delay the upgrade in case things go wrong.

Yesterday’s meeting had a positive impact on Ethereum’s (ETH) price. After losing nearly 15% on Friday, Ethereum is showing a bit of recovery today. At the press time, ETH is 5% up trading at $90.10 with a market cap of $9.3 billion. Below is the video of the Friday’s meeting.

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