The highly anticipated planned hardfork of the ethereum network dubbed Constantinople will take place around the end of next month, ethereum core developers have agreed.
The upgrade which was scheduled to launch on the ethereum mainnet on January 16 was suddenly cancelled shortly before the launch date after a security bug was discovered in its code. As Smartereum reported, the developers decided to call off the launch because the bug was found too close to the launch and could not be fixed on time. The developers at the time promised to set a new release date during their Friday developers’ conference call.
That call happened last Friday and the developers agreed to move the Constantinople launch to block 7.28M which coincides with February 27 according to the current block times. Lead developer Péter Szilágyi revealed this decision in his tweet last week.
“Seems we’re going with block 7.28M for the #Ethereum Constantinople refork scheduled for the 27th of February! Will be a single fork on mainnet and a post-Constantinople-fixup fork on the testnets to get them back in line feature wise with the main network.”
Changes to the Constantinople Upgrade – An EIP removed
Other than the change in the launch block to 7,280,000 and date to a tentative Feb. 27 date, the developers made other major changes to the Constantinople plans. Notable among these is the removal of one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) originally included in the Jan 16 hardfork.
EIP 1283 which aims to make certain transactions on Ethereum cheaper would be unavailable in the Feb 27 upgrade. It was excluded because the security bug was found in its code. EIP 1283 is one of 5 proposals included in the Constantinople hardfork. The upgrade is expected to pave the way for the transition from the Proof of Work to the Proof of Stake protocol. Parity developer and release manager Afri Sheldon suggested a total removal of the difficulty bomb since the network was transitioning into a PoS era.
Questions about ‘Difficulty Bomb’
Following Szilágyi’s tweet, there were questions raised about the difficulty bomb which is a pre-programed condition that increases the block difficulty after some months in order to encourage often upgrade of the ethereum network.
The Constantinople upgrade is expected to readjust this difficulty block to another period. However, following the delay in the hardfork, developer Jordi Morris and developer Lane Rettig asked if the difficulty bomb was also adjusted to add the extra months following the original launch date. In response, Szilágyi said that the delay date sued was the original October 18 upgrade proposal.
Ethereum 2.0 Unaffected By Delays
Despite the delays to the Constantinople upgrade, the ethereum developers have pushed on with plans towards Casper, Sharding and State-channels, all sub-projects of the Ethereum 2.0 milestone. As Smartereum reported, ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin said that the Casper testnet is will launch later in 2019.
After Constantinople, Casper is the new protocol that will transition the ethereum network from the PoW to the PoS consensus system. In a separate tweet, Buterin reminded followers that the delays to Constantinople does not impact long-term plans like Casper.
Referencing Afri’s Reddit post, Vitalik wrote, “Reminder from @5chdn: Constantinopele delays do not at all impact the steady and ongoing progress of Casper/sharding/serenity.”
Ethereum [ETH] Price Watch
At the time of writing, ethereum is trading at 117 to the USD down alongside the rest of the crypto market. It has a total market cap of $12.2 billion compared to $12.9 billion of Ripple’s XRP and $62.3 billion of bitcoin [BTC].