Ethereum Developers Propose Block 7,080,000 as Activation Point for Next Hard Fork

Ethereum’s open source development team has come to an agreement on when to activate the next hard fork. The much-anticipated Constantinople upgrade will take place on block 7,080,000 on the Ethereum blockchain.

Constantinople is a proposed code change that will give users the option to update the blockchain with new features.

The developers reached an agreement on Friday at a bi-weekly core developer meeting. From Block 7,080,000 onward, users will be able to choose to upgrade their blockchain to the new code. If you choose to upgrade your blockchain, then the update will go live as soon as the block is mined.

According to Afri Schoeden, Release Manager for the Parity Ethereum client, that block is scheduled to take place on January 16, 2019, although the block could be mined anywhere between January 14 and January 18.

The software release will also come with an emergency switch. This switch can be flipped in case anything goes wrong with the upgrade. If the switch is flipped, then the upgrade will be delayed.

Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade was originally scheduled to take place in November. The upgrade aimed to bring a host of design changes to the popular blockchain development platform.

One of the most notable changes with Constantinople is a reduced block reward: the block reward will be reduced from 3 ETH per block to 2 ETH per block.

Constantinople will also delay the so-called “difficulty bomb”, a code fix designed to prompt frequent updates, for 18 months.

The Ethereum Constantinople upgrade was first finalized on August 31, 2018. The upgrade proposed that five different Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) should be added to the Ethereum blockchain permanently via hard fork. The upgrade has been characterized as a maintenance and optimization upgrade with few big changes. Nevertheless, the upgrade has been relatively controversial among various members of the community, including miners who are upset about their impending pay cut.

Other Proposed Changes with Ethereum’s Constantinople Upgrade

During Friday’s meeting, Ethereum’s developers also discussed changing Ethereum’s underlying proof-of-work algorithm. The proposed PoW change has been labeled ProgPoW. This change would theoretically prevent ASICs from mining on the Ethereum network, ensuring the Ethereum community remains democratic and decentralized and not concentrated in the hands of a few mining giants.

Developers claim that progress on ProgPoW is going smoothly, although there has not yet been a decision made on including ProgPoW in any future Ethereum updates.

Developers also discussed Ethereum 1x, a proposed upgrade that may be implemented in 2019. Ethereum 1x developers gave an update on their progress during today’s meeting, although they stressed that development was still in the early stages.

There was one more final change with today’s Ethereum meetings: future meetings are expected to be open. After feedback from the Ethereum community on previous closed meetings, future meetings will be open. The last meeting for the Ethereum 1x upgrade was a closed, unrecorded meeting. The community only learned details of the meeting when notes were released after the fact.

On January 16, 2019, we should have more information about how Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade will work and how miners feel about its implementation. Stay tuned for block 7,080,000, which should take place on January 16 but could take place anywhere from January 14 to January 18.

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