Ethereum Successfully Completes Its Istanbul Hard Fork

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by Daria Rud · 3 min read
Ethereum Successfully Completes Its Istanbul Hard Fork
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Istanbul is Ethereum’s eighth hard fork that comes with six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), including EIPs 152, 1108, 1344, 1844, 2028 and 2200. 

Great news for the Ethereum community: the network’s Istanbul improvement has been successfully completed. Expected to increase the speed of the Ethereum network and its gas efficiency, the hard fork was activated at block number 9,069,000.

Ethereum is the world’s leading programmable blockchain featuring smart contract functionality. Its community is the largest and most active blockchain community in the world. It unites protocol developers, researchers, mining organizations, crypto traders, app developers, users, prominent companies.

Ethereum developers are continuously working on improving its functionality, and one of these improvements is completing a hard fork which is a serious change in the protocol accompanied by new rules that come in the form of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) and define in technical terms the changes and features that should be implemented in a network upgrade. Hard forks are usually implemented under extreme conditions. They are rarely planned – most of the time their appearance is due to necessity.

Ethereum has already experienced seven hard forks, the most recent of them were Constantinople and St. Petersburg upgrades that took place in February this year. Constantinople and St. Petersburg hard forks reduced block reward issuance from 3 to 2 ETH, similar to how the previous hard fork Byzantium reduced issuance from 5 to 3 ETH. Both the hard forks launched on Ethereum block number 7,280,000.

Expectations from Istanbul Hard Fork

Istanbul is Ethereum’s eighth hard fork that comes with six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), including EIPs 152, 1108, 1344, 1844, 2028 and 2200.

According to Ethereum’s blog post, the hard fork will enable a relay and atomic-swap transactions between Zcash and Ethereum (EIP-152), provide cheaper zk-SNARKs, allow contracts to keep track of the Ethereum chain they are on, offer a way to prevent spamming attacks and to balance the amount of computation in each block better, reduce transaction data gas cost, and enable contracts to introduce new functions including re-entry locks and same-contract multi-send.

Péter Szilágyi, who is Ethereum core developer. said:

“We split Istanbul into two. One of them we can actually ship within weeks. [The other contains] two really big EIPs that would be nice to have but require some stuff that cannot be done within the two- or three-week timespan.”

The hard fork will affect the entire token ecosystem, that’s why the developers are warning about possible disruptions. Besides, trading across multiple markets may slow down.

It is notable that before the hard fork, there was a serious issue. As we have reported, the majority of the nodes on Ethereum were unprepared for this. Three days before the event, it was found that nearly 59% of the Ethereum clients were not moved to the latest version compatible with the Istanbul Hard Fork. As per the Ethernodes analytical tool, just 40% of the active clients were ready at that point for an upcoming systemwide upgrade.

What’s Next?

Istanbul hard fork is not the last change in the Ethereum network. In 2020, Berlin hard fork is set to take place. The developers have already started active work on this upgrade.

The list of changes considered includes ProgPoW (EIP-1057) for improving GPU-mining, EIP-1380, EIP-2045, EIP-2046 connected with gas costs, and EIP-1985 responsible for the optimization of the virtual machine.

Altcoin News, Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency news, Ethereum News, News
Daria Rud
Author Daria Rud

Daria is an economic student interested in the development of modern technologies. She is eager to know as much as possible about cryptos as she believes they can change our view on finance and the world in general.

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