What is the Ethereum Constantinople Hard fork?

Constantinople is the second part of Ethereum's upgrades in the Metropolis hard fork. The first part comprised of the Byzantium hard fork that was implemented in October 2017.


Constantinople is the second part of Ethereum’s upgrades in the Metropolis hard fork. The first part comprised of the Byzantium hard fork that was implemented in October 2017.

Constantinople is a system-wide backward-incompatible upgrade of the Ethereum network and is aimed at optimizing the network, reducing transaction fees and increasing efficiency.

It has been reported that Ethereum developers have already begun implementing code for the launch of the upgrades.

According to an announcement made at a meeting for core developers, Constantinople will likely go into activation in the second week of October. It’s slated to take place before Devcon4 Conference.

However, the developers haven’t set the exact block number at which the hard fork will get activated.

Ethereum developers have dedicated the past few months on finding solutions to the issues of scalability and efficiency that have plagued the Ethereum network.

An upgrade like that envisioned in the Casper implementation has been earmarked as a possible step towards solving part of this problem. Many developers believe that activating Constantinople is the key to finally bringing these solutions into use.

According to the announcement made last Friday, a tentative roadmap has been developed. The roadmap proposes that the implementation of the code will continue until August 13.

This stage will be followed by a testing period spanning two months, including the release of a test-net targeting the hard fork.

Ethereum Improvement Upgrades

The hard fork will see the implementation of a number of updates that will greatly improve the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are geared toward improving the network’s structure and functionality.

For instance, developers have said that Constantinople will see the release of four EIPs. They will include,

“EIP 210, which reorganizes the way block hashes are stored in Ethereum, and EIP 145, which increases the speed of arithmetic in the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM).”

The other two upgrades are EIP 1014 that will make it possible to add state channels to the Ethereum blockchain. There’s also EIP 1052, which is a new op-code that compresses how smart contracts interact.

These improvement updates are the beginning of what will culminate in finding solutions to key challenges that have beleaguered the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

A successful implementation is likely to see Ethereum retain its present dominance, even as it faces stiff competition.

There have been numerous “Ethereum killer” platforms that boast better performance, like EOS, Ziliqa, and Dfinity. Constantinople is very vital for Ethereum and the upcoming hard fork will help it stay ahead in a rapidly growing blockchain industry.

Ready for activation

According to Péter Szilágyi, a lead developer of Ethereum’s Geth, the developer team has already implemented most of the changes needed. He also revealed that most of the EIPs are ready for activation.

Szilágyi told the meeting of developers and stakeholders that “The EIPs are mostly done,” furthering belief that the hard fork will go live as planned.

The Constantinople hard fork is to complete the second part in the Metropolis upgrade. As we noted earlier, the first part constituted Byzantium which was activated in October of last year.

The Byzantium upgrade went live at Ethereum’s Block 4,370000. The hard fork introduced a total of nine EIPs.

At the heart of the first hard fork was the need to introduce changes that would make the network better by improving its security protocols, privacy, and scalability.

What remains is to ensure the community embraces the upcoming changes and to forestall any possibility of an outcome like the one that led to the creation of Ethereum Classic.

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