Though the Constantinople hard fork has been already postponed twice now it is expected to occur together with the St. Petersburg upgrade this week.
A very important event for the Ethereum network is scheduled to take place this week. According to the information revealed in the official Ethereum blog, two network upgrades that are known as Constantinople and St. Petersburg are expected to happen this Thursday, February 28 at Ethereum’s block 7,280,000.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to predict the exact date when this block will be mined. That’s why the upgrades may be implemented one or two days before or after the scheduled date.
As it has been revealed, it won’t be a single big update, but two separate ones combined in a common event. That’s why they’ve got two different names.
What We Know about the Constantinople Upgrade
Earlier, it was planned that the Constantinople upgrade would take place in January but due to a security vulnerability that had been discovered, it was delayed.
As CoinSpeaker reported last month, the discovered bug in the Ethereum Constantinople upgrade could provide attackers with an opportunity to exploit the hard fork software code and continuously withdraw user funds.
That’s why the team of developers took a decision to postpone the upgrade till late February and implement it safely.
But it was not the first case when dev team decided to delay Constantinople as initially, it was to take place in autumn 2018. However, after multiple bugs were found in the code released on the Ropsten testnet, the core team admitted a necessity to push the hard fork to mid-January. What happened later, we have already mentioned.
Nevertheless, now it is strongly believed that the upgrade will be finally implemented.
The long-awaited Ethereum Constantinople hard fork will bring to the platform multiple efficiency improvements. The major alterations will affect such important things as the network’s core protocol specifications, contract standards and client APIs.
It is also said that in the framework of the Constantinople upgrade, the so-called “difficulty bomb” will be delayed while Ethereum’s block reward will be decreased to ensure this delay.
Due to the difficulty bomb that is also referred to as the “ice age” the average block times are increasing as the feature is able to prevent miners from continuing their activity on the chain after Ethereum’s switch to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. But as PoS implementation is now postponed, the developers don’t want to freeze the blockchain beforehand.
With the new upgrade, it will be postponed for approximately 12 months. As the mining process will be easier, Constantinople will also feature the above-mentioned reduction of the reward for every miner block from 3 to 2 ETH.
Constantinople is also said to bring a new smart contract creation function known as Create2.
St. Petersburg Upgrade
The second network update, St. Petersburg, that is also planned to occur on the same date, is not such a widely-discussed one. As it is known, before any network upgrades are applied to the main network, they take place on test networks, such as Ropsten.
The same happened to the original Constantinople changes (Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283) that were applied to test networks before the postponement. Now it’s needed to delete them. It will be done in the framework of the St. Petersburg upgrade that will happen just on the same block number as Constantinople.
As it is stated in the official blog, miners and node operators need to download the latest version of their Ethereum client in order to work after the upgrades occur. Nevertheless, ETH holders and network users do not need to take any additional steps unless their exchange or wallet service providers ask them.