Ethereum’s Constantinople Hard Fork Just Happened; What to Expect?

Ethereum (ETH), the second largest blockchain and digital asset in the market, is going to be undergoing a network upgrade at block 7,280,000. The fork is going to be happening in just a few minutes and it is going to be introducing a few upgrades to the whole network.

Users that have their funds deposited on exchanges, such as Coinbase, Binance or Poloniex, do not have to do anything about it. Mobile and hardware wallet users should also not do anything unless the services provider informed to take an additional step. This is different from what node operators and miners have to do. Nodes operators and miners have to download the latest version of the Ethereum client.

Miners and node operators that are not able to upgrade their Ethereum client will be working on the old blockchain. Thus, it will not be possible for them to send Ether or operate on the post-upgrade Ethereum network.

There are four different changes that will be implemented with Constantinople. These changes are implemented by using Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).

The first proposal is the EIP 145, which will be providing native bitwise shifting with cost on par with other arithmetic operations. This adds native functionality to protocol, making it easier and cheaper to do certain activities on-chain.

The second proposal is the EIP 1014, or Skinny CREATE2. This improvement will be allowing interactions to be made with addresses that do not exist on-chain. The EIP makes it easier for users to interact with addresses that have yet to be created.

The third proposal is the EIP 1052. This upgrade will be allowing users to perform certain actions on-chain in a cheaper way.

Finally, the fourth proposal is EIP 1234. This is very important because it delays the so-called difficulty bomb and adjusts the block reward for miners. At the moment, average block times are increasing due to the difficulty bomb that is slowly accelerating. This EIP delays the difficulty bomb for around 12 months. Ethereum wants to move towards a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, and this was one of the main measures to take for it to happen.

Currently, Ethereum has a market cap of $14.4 billion and each ETH can be purchased for $137. At the time of publishing, 22.1% of Geth and Parity Clients have been upgraded.

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