Why is Ethereum Constantinople Hard Fork Delayed?


The initial planned release date for Ethereum Constantinople Hard Fork was set on 8th October. Yet, developers decided to postpone the possible split of the network in order to give users time to prepare for changes.

5 October 2018 – Core developers of Ethereum announced a delay in their plans to launch Constantinople, which is a system-wide upgrade for the second biggest cryptocurrency in the world. 

Ethereum Hard Fork Delay: What are the reasons?

Peter Szilagyi, the team leader at the Ethereum Foundation, posted a tweet, stating that the key reason for delay lies in the intention to offer more time for clients to be able to prepare for the possible network split. Szilagyi noted that individuals and businesses that are running “nodes” or computer servers that are supporting the Ethereum network will need to address a vulnerability that was spotted in one of the five Constantinople upgrades. 

In addition, the delay would also provide space for the test network Ropsten users that are testing other Ethereum projects, like the off-chain scaling solution Raiden. 

Upgrades comprising Constantinople include amendments to block reward issuance, data storage, code execution and more. These upgrades are requiring “hard fork.” The active nodes of the Ropsten testnet would need to execute such changes at the same time or they might risk splitting into two separate Blockhains. 

Lefteris Karapetsas, who is a developer for the Raiden network, noted that causing a possible network split for even a temporary period on Ropsten would “effectively make testing almost impossible” for their project, which is “rather close to mainnet release.” 

The new release date for Constantinople on Rosten is now scheduled for October 14th. The hard fork is expected to take place on the block 4.23 million, as it was agreed by core developers and testnet users together. 

In order to avoid intentionally causing complications on the Ethereum tesntet, one of the core developers of Ethereum, Alexey Akhunov, proposed to launch a separate temporary testnet to Ropsen and resolve obvious problems in code before execution for further testing by existing users of the Ropsten network.

What is Constantinople Ethereum Hard Fork About?

Constantinople has been finalized earlier this August, on 31st, and it includes five different Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs). The proposals are aiming to permanently alter the Blockchain with a series of new backward-incompatible upgrades.

The five EIPs include:

  • EIP 145: A technical upgrade created by Ethereum developers, Alex Beregszaszi and Pawel Bylica. This EIP aims to enable a more efficient information processing method, known as bitwise shifting.
  • EIP 1052: Written by core developer Nick Johnson and Bylica, this EIP provides a means of enhancing large-scale code execution on Ethereum.
  • EIP 1283: This EIP is based on EIP 1087, which was authored by Johnson. This proposal aims to benefit smart contract developers. It plans to do so by introducing a more reasonable pricing method for changes made to data storage.
  • EIP 1014: The founder of Ethereum himself, Vitalik Buterin, is responsible for the creation of this proposal. The purpose of this upgrade is to improve the facilitation of a specific kind of scaling solution based on state channels and “off-chain” transactions.
  • EIP 1234: Authored by Afri Schoedon, who is the release manager for major Ethereum client Parity, this EIP is eyeing to decrease the block mining reward issuance from 3 ETH down to 2 ETH. It also plans to delay the difficulty bomb for a period of 12 months. 

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