Ethereum Developers Prepare To Activate Istanbul Shortly After The Successful Constantinople Hardfork

ethereum ecosystem

Even before the Ethereum blockchain was launched, developers anticipated some of the possible challenges it would face. This is why they created a road map of several solutions that will improve the efficiency of the network and eventually allow them to migrate from Ethereum to Ethereum 2.0. So far, the Ethereum developers have been able to cross several milestones including the most recent – the Constantinople upgrade.

Constantinople Upgrade Paves A Way For Istanbul

To solve the scalability issues that have plagued the Ethereum blockchain from time, the developers suggested that the network migrates from the proof-of-work consensus algorithm which was made famous by Bitcoin, to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. This has created a lot of noise in the cryptocurrency space over the years. During the last Ethereum Devcon conference, co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin gave a brief introduction of Ethereum 2.0.

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The Constantinople fork was the most recent move in a chain of events surrounding the migration. The upgrade reduced the block reward from 3 ETH to 2 ETH. It has about 5 Ethereum Improvement Protocols. However, due to a possible security vulnerability on the update, the Ethereum core developers decided to update Constantinople along with St. Petersburg. On the 28th of February, the upgrades were initiated successfully at the same time. Now, the Ethereum core development team have moved forward to another upgrade called Istanbul.

What You Should Know About Istanbul

The next Ethereum hardfork is Istanbul. The core developers are already working on activating Istanbul in the next eight months. This hardfork would most likely include some of the Constantinople EIPs. All the new proposals must be submitted before the end of May for review. While the full implementation will be in eight months, a soft implementation will be done in July to test Istanbul’s compatibility on the Ethereum blockchain. The testnet upgrade is also estimated to take place in August. By October, if everything goes to plan, the Istanbul hardfork will be ready for activation.

After Istanbul, the team will start working on the implementation of Serenity and ProgPow. Serenity has been dubbed Ethereum 2.0 while ProgPow stands for Programmatic Proof-of-Work upgrade. After ProgPow is implemented, ASIC miners will have less control of the network and GPU miners will benefit more.

Serenity is going to be the final upgrade. It will put Ethereum in the last phase. After Serenity, Ethereum would have successfully moved from the proof-of-work to the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm. Serenity will introduce Casper and Beacon on the Ethereum blockchain.

Everything seems set but it’s important to always give room for delays. If history teaches us anything, it’s that Ethereum core developers are terrible at meeting timelines. This isn’t entirely their fault. Upgrades and hardforks on a big blockchain require a lot of precision. Mistakes during the fork can leave the entire network vulnerable. Community members should be more focused on the milestones than the pace. The important thing is that Ethereum is making progress.

What do you think? Will developers keep to this timeline or will there be delays again? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Max writes about blockchain projects and regulation with a special focus on United States and China. He joined Smarterum after years of writing for various media outlets.


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