As an Ethereum Holder, you do not need to prepare anything for the Hard Fork. All node operators (Full-Nodes) must upgrade to the latest version of the Ethereum client software after January 16, using the Constantinople update.
Ethereum's hard fork upgrade will be activated in block number 7.080.000 expected to be between January 15th and January 17th, 2019. Called Constantinople, Ethereum's Hard Fork consists of several codebase modifications. These are specified by five Ethereum Suggestions for Improvement (EIP).
What is a hard fork?
A hard fork is a backward incompatible upgrade similar to the way upgrades are made to applications like Microsoft Word. For example, an older version of the word processing program may not be able to accurately read and display all the characters and fonts in a file created with the latest version of MS Word.
Why are upgrades called Forks?
Upgrades to cryptocurrency platforms are called forks because they resemble a fork in the way that a single block chain is split into two chains. One of the chains can be used by people who still want to play with the old rules or can not update their nodes (nodes). In the meantime, the other chain will be used by those who start with new or updated rules.
In most cases, transaction validators will stop running older versions of the cryptocurrency client software and switch to the latest version. After switching to the upgraded Blockchain network, the miners will not add new blocks to the old chain. This usually causes the old chain to slow down and become inactive.
If a fork is controversial (ie there are individuals or organizations that do not want to make certain changes to the existing chain), then a blockchain network can fork into two separate and active networks.
The two active blockchains will also have their own coins. In this way, the Bitcoin Network (BTC) was forked to a separate Bitcoin Cash Blockchain (BCH) on August 1, 2017. When Ethereum went through a hard fork after the DAO attack, the upgrade resulted in two different cryptocurrencies: Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Five different suggestions for improving Ethereum
The set of Constantinople upgrades planned for Ethereum is undeniable as all network participants have agreed to activate the following five EIPs:
- 145 – a cost-effective and overall efficient way to process information (by adding bit-wise Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) shift operators;
- 1014: Better approach to network scaling solutions such as off-chain transactions;
- 1052 – Improvement of Smart Contract Management;
- 1234 – 12-month delay in difficulty hurdle; Reduce mining rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block;
- 1283 – A Better Way To Monetize Changes To Data Storage (Through Smart Contract Programmers)
A link to an explanatory video for all of the above EIPs (except EIP 1283) can be found here.
Block approvals are expected to stay at around 15 seconds. If Ethereum switches to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus in another hard-fork, transaction processing times may improve. It is currently unclear whether the average transaction costs for Ethereum will change. However, the transaction fees associated with the issuance of smart contracts may decline – as some of the EIPs aim to optimize smart contract transactions.
To accommodate the changes needed for the Constantinople update, crypto exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and others need to update their nodes. Other crypto services like MyCrypto, Trust Wallet, MetaMask, and Etherscan also need to update their nodes.
Ether (ETH) owners do not need to prepare for the Ethereum update. The software changes to be activated with Constantinople are mostly unnoticeable for the users.
Author: Peter Joost – Source Post: https://www.kryptovergleich.org/ethereum-constantinople-hard-fork-was-you-expected-and-what-your-hard-forks-knowledge-measures/
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