The Ethereum hard fork is about to arrive. Ethereum’s long-awaited Metropolis upgrade is scheduled to get underway on or around October 16 – or whenever block 4,370,000 occurs.
October 16 will mark the first stage of the Metropolis upgrade, which is the hard fork for Byzantium. The developers are optimistic that clients will upgrade their software together, helping to avoid any unintended splits. To ensure the upgrade is completed in unison, clients will need to make all of the necessary upgrades to support the Byzantium hard fork.
Geth, or Go Ethereum, has already upgraded to support Byzantium. Other clients are expected to follow, making this upgrade a non-event. Nevertheless, the potential always exists for a Bitcoin Cash-like hard fork in the Ethereum blockchain.
What Changes Will Take Place?
The Byzantium hard fork comes as a result of Ethereum Improvement Protocol 649, or EIP 649.
That EIP stated that Ether blocks will be mined ten seconds faster than they’re currently mined by the network. To protect the integrity of Ether, Byzantium will also lower the block reward from 5 ETH to 3 ETH per block.
Testing of the hard fork took place last month on Ropsten, the simulation environment used by Ethereum to test any changes. At the same time, developers tested a handful of other EIPs scheduled to be introduced in the upcoming hard fork.
Appears To Be On Track For A Smooth Upgrade
Our friends at Hacked.com are reporting that the Ethereum development team met over the weekend to discuss the upcoming hard fork, and they “generally agreed that everything is on track.”
No other meetings are scheduled before October 16.
Overall, the goal of the Ethereum hard fork is to avoid a situation like what occurred with Bitcoin Cash, or BCH, during the bitcoin hard fork on October 1. That high-profile fork led to the creation of an entire new currency using the bitcoin blockchain. Two months after being introduced, the price of BCH remains highly volatile, although it’s gradually gaining ground and acceptance across communities.
Meanwhile, the price of Ethereum doesn’t seem to have changed much in response to the upcoming hard fork. Although it’s fluctuated between $290 and $310 in the past week, it’s generally stuck around the $300 range.
Stay tuned to see what happens with the Ethereum hard fork and the Byzantium upgrade scheduled to take place on or around October 16.