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It is found that nearly 60% of the Ethereum clients have not been moved to the latest version that is compatible with the Istanbul hard fork.
As per its earlier schedule, the Ethereum network shall be releasing its Istanbul hard fork three days from now on December 8. However, the interesting thing is that a majority of the nodes on Ethereum are unprepared for this.
Frankly, this news is a bit shocking to the Ethereum community. It is found that nearly 60% of the Ethereum clients have not been moved to the latest version that is compatible with the Istanbul Hard Fork. As per the Ethernodes analytical tool, just 40% of the active clients are ready at this point for an upcoming systemwide upgrade.
As per the Ethereum Foundation, the upgrade will happen at block number 9,069,000. Before this upgrade, Ethereum, the world’s second-largest blockchain network has undergone upgrades like Spurious Dragon, Constantinople, and Byzantium. Besides, the Istanbul upgrade will happen before the first phase of another major upgrade Serenity that is planned in the next year 2020.
Just like the previous upgrades, the Istanbul upgrade plans to bring some changes to the underlying ETH protocol and bring new and robust rules in the system. Mati Greenspan, founder of QuantumEconomics.io, said:
“[Istanbul] is a rather minor upgrade on the roadmap to Ethereum 2.0 and is meant to improve security, network costs, and interoperability with other blockchains. Hopefully, end users will never even need to be aware of the change and only those who are running nodes will need to upgrade”.
Now, for the Istanbul hard fork, node operators and miners need to get prepared for this upgrade. Nodes that have not been upgraded and stayed on the old chain can’t transact on the new ones.
— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) December 3, 2019
Another big issue is that the Istanbul har fork is not backward compatible. This means that if a node client hasn’t updated it will automatically to the previous version pre-fork blockchain. However, the new ETH won’t be compatible with the previous blockchain and users won’t be able to send/receive ETH tokens anymore.
It will be interesting to see how things move going ahead.
However, it’s worth mentioning that as for the price of Ethereum the situation now is not the one that is usually expected before a hard fork. For example, before the Constantinople upgrade, that took place in February, the coin gained 30% in a month. But now Ether is definitely underperforming. Its losses within a month is around 20%. At the moment of writing, ETH is trading for $147. Even though the coin tried to push past $150 recently but it didn’t manage to hold above this level.