The month of January holds high interest for Ethereum, with 3 upcoming hard forks expected to happen. This is an important milestone for Ethereum’s development, in an attempt to balance the token’s economy while improving its features & functions.
Update: Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV) & Ethereum Nowa hard forks turned out to be scams.
The Constantinople hard fork upgrade, the 2nd phase of the Metropolis project, will reduce the block reward from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block. It is a step to transit from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol (coming in the Casper upgrade). Ethereum will also become more ASIC-resistant with a new proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, “ProgPoW,” which will increase the efficiency of GPU-based mining on the network. The gas fees will also get 10 times cheaper thanks to the EIP 145.
Estimated Time: Between 14/01/2019 and 19/01/2019
Hard Fork Block Height: 7,080,000
The EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) that will be implemented in the upcoming Constantinople hard fork:
- EIP 145: An upgrade which will efficiently improve the information processing on the ETH blockchain known as bitwise shifting. This will use 10 times lesser gas than before, which eventually will make the smart contracts cheaper to use.
- EIP 1052: Optimising large scale code execution on the blockchain. Unique hash adoption will make the other contract verification easier as well as efficient.
- EIP 1283: The pricing method will be made fairer and simpler in case of contract storage (SSTORE opcode). It will lower the gas cost as new uses will be enabled for data storage.
- EIP 1014: Vitalik Buterin scaling solution based on off-chain transactions and state channels similar to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, which will automatically improve the performance of the network.
- EIP 1234: The average block times are increasing due to the difficulty bomb (also known as the “ice age“) slowly accelerating. This EIP proposes to delay the difficulty bomb for approximately 12 months. This will create ruckus amongst the miners as their block reward will decrease (3 ETH -> 2ETH) as happened earlier during the Ethereum Classic (ETC) hard fork.
Approximately around 6,000 blocks are created every day, with ~15 seconds required for each block. The Ethereum block reward decrease will help with the token’s inflation, reducing the daily rewards from 18,000 ETH to 12,000 ETH.
Exchanges that will support Constantinople: Binance, OKEx, Huobi Global, Kucoin, Bitforex, Bibox.
Besides the Constantinople hard fork, there are other 2 upcoming Hard Forks in January:
2. Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV) Hard Fork
Ethereum Classic Vision is a new cryptocurrency that intends to bridge the differences of expectations and reality. As a hard fork of Ethereum, it will leverage the most advanced solutions proposed, while at the same time preserving the idea of decentralization. It will focus on the features of PoS mining and sharding. ETCV network can process up to 10.000+ transactions per second (TPS) instead of Ethereum’s 25 transactions per second.
All the Ethereum hodlers will get 3 ETCV (Ethereum Classic Vision) coins for every ETH in their private wallets. This hard fork will occur on January 11, 2019.
3. Ethereum Nowa Hard Fork
The Ethereum Nowa (ETN) hard fork will take place one day after the Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV) hard fork on January 12, 2019. It will give users ETN coins at a 1:1 ratio for every Ethereum they hold. This hard fork may be a scam, according to this bitcointalk post.
Vitalik Buterin and the other Ethereum developers are working on the transition to a proof-of-stake mechanism, coming eventually with the Casper Upgrade. This will occur within the next 1-2 years, while making Ethereum faster and cheaper to use with the in-between upgrades. The Constantinople hard fork will spike the interest of the markets and we may see an increase in the price of Ethereum throughout January and onwards.
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