After A Week, Ethereum Ropsten Testnet Is Still Split: Will Developers Or Miners Win The Battle


An interesting, albeit damaging chain of events, has led to a rather unexpected standoff within Ethereum’s Ropsten test network. The developers, the ones that have created the Ropsten Network and the miners, the ones facilitating the blockchain’s transactions, have now been in an almost week-long hard fork within the network. This was as a result of the developers trying to upgrade the Ropsten network with what they called the Istanbul fork.

This brings forth a fascinating argument when it comes to the cryptocurrencies. Specifically, the decentralized nature of these blockchain-based assets. Who should be in charge of the coin as it goes forward? The developers, or the ones that are putting down the hardware to facilitate the creation of the blocks?

Mudit Gupta, of the Polymath blockchain, asked that very question in a tweet, wondering what happens to the tokens that were issued before the Istanbul fork.

Ethereum mining is a rather attractive business to get into, and multiple ASIC farms have hopped on the Ethereum bandwagon because of it. ETH’s has rate is standing at 180 million GH/s at the time of this writing

Since last week, however, the Ropsten Network has split in two ever since the Istanbul fork. The number of blocks mined pre-Istanbul had reached a block height of 6,529,280. Now, however, those blocks are split. Said split being between the smaller group of developers who adopted the hard fork and the far larger group of miners that are not willing to change their expensive systems.

This Istanbul upgrade plans to implement six new Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) out of a previous selection of 30 upgrades.

While this may be a funny thought, as the two groups feud over the cryptocurrency, there could be genuine implications to Ethereum because of it. Ethereum is one of the world’s leading altcoins, an asset that has had a significant impact on various markets across the globe. Recently the whole Ethereum network was gassed out by a lottery game by the name of Fair Win. The overuse came from the basically sneaky premise, that “The last one to buy a ticket is the winner.” This made sales skyrocket at the very end of the given term.

A week of splits

The Istanbul split happened on September 30th, at precisely 03:40 AM UTC. It was unexpectedly early from the predicted 2nd of October, mainly due to strangely quick block processing.

From there, the network was expected to quickly stabilize within the new fork, like what happened with its Constantinople. The Constantinople split was attributed to the developers enacting the fork during a weekend, a time where many people don’t want to work. This, however, seems like a war of opinions between the miners and the developers.

It’s a fascinating chain of events, and might even set a precedent of who is truly in control of a cryptocurrency: The developers or the miners.

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