Latest News on Ethereum
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, told The Star about the current status of Ethereum: “Scalability is a big problem, because Ethereum Blockchain is almost full. It’s already expensive and it’s going to be five times more expensive because of us. There’s pressure to stop people from joining.”
The above explanation reveals that Ethereum is at a turning point, and that there are pressure to deliver scalable solutions for corporate customers, the concern in the developer community, and the need to compete with other blockchain providers.
In addition, Ethereum signed a plan with the mission of providing real solutions to address the issue of scalability, and in October 2019 Istanbul announced the future of Serenity Hard Fork in 2020. In this article, we will give detailed information about Istanbul Hard Fork.
What is Fork? What is Istanbul Hard Fork?
Before we explain Istanbul Hard fork, let’s understand what Fork is and why it is necessary. What were the previous forks applied to Ethereum?
What is Fork?
A blockchain that works with a number of protocols and the consensus of participants is called Fork.
1) Planned Fork: A planned upgrade / modification to improve blockchain performance and utilization. An example of a planned fork upgrade may be the Byzantium of Ethereum, a two-stage Ethereum upgrade plan for better scalability and integration of special processes.
2) Contentious Fork: Contentious fork is caused by disagreements within the community; one of the examples is the hard fork of Ethereum Classic and Ethereum. The hard fork of Ethereum was due to a major mistake that caused the DAO [decentralized autonomous organization] funding to be hacked. The team had two options: complying with the hack or applying hard fork, wiping the process and stopping the hackers.
What is Istanbul Hard Fork?
Istanbul Hard Fork is a planned upgrade that was inspired by the name of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
In the last quarter of 2017, the founders of Ethereum decided to change some of the key features of the Ethereum Blockchain. The upgrade was called Metropolis, but the list was too long and a one-time application would be a tough job. So they decided to split it into two. These two planned forks, called Istanbul and Constantinople, were planned in two stages; the first stage is the integration of the six EIPs planned for October 2019 and the second stage is activation of the main network, planned for 2020.
“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.”
What Features Would Istanbul Hard Fork Bring to Ethereum?
Istanbul hard fork is packed with 28 EIPs or Ethereum Improvement Offers. Below are some of the major changes included in the upgrade.
Change in Proof-of-work
Ethereum’s proof-of-work mining algorithm will be replaced with the newly created ProgPoW. With the new ProgPoW algorithm, it is aimed to achieve greater participation in Ethereum mining, thus reducing the productivity gap between GPU and ASIC miners.
Handling of Data Storage Process
To achieve smoother smart contract upgradibility, the EIP 1702 has been designated. Currently, all Dapps (decentralized applications) running on the Ethereum blockchain are called smart contracts, which are a self-executing line of code that hardly ever changes.
Compilation and execution of these smart contracts can be done better with the Ethereum virtual machine, known as the heart of the blockchain network. It helps as the driving engine for numerous Dapps created and deployed by developers.
With the EIP-1072, the Ethereum virtual machine will be upgraded to the Web Assembly Code, which will provide developers with flexibility for programming language and performance. A new methodology called “account versioning” would be introduced in hard forks so that upgrading a virtual machine is easier.
Wei Tang, a developer from Parity, said in a statement:
“By allowing account versioning, we can execute different virtual machine for contracts created at different times. This allows breaking features to be implemented while making sure existing contracts work as expected.”
Let’s see what will be the effects of Istanbul Hard Fork for Ethereum?
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