Ethereum Core Devs Delay Constantinople Upgrade Till Late February

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Ethereum core developers met on Friday in a call meant to help the team reach agreement on how and when to reintroduce the Constantinople upgrade.

The upgrade is now set to go live within the next six weeks, probably between February 26 and February 28. Consensus for the timeline was felt to be sufficient for testing of clients.

Constantinople is a system-wide upgrade that was pulled earlier this week after smart contract audit firm ChainSecurity discovered security vulnerability linked to one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).

As we anticipated (and owing to the said vulnerability), the reintroduction of Constantinople is now set to exclude the buggy EIP-1283 by reissuing the upgrade in two separate but simultaneous parts.

The first upgrade will see the introduction of all five EIPs as was in the flagged issue, but a second simultaneous part will remove EIP 1283.

The excluded EIP, which involves network data storage costs, will have to undergo further testing and refashioning before being introduced at a later date.

The reintroduction and simultaneous elimination of the vulnerability is a strategy that is meant to help everyone who had upgraded to simply downgrade, one of the Core devs Péter Szilágyi explained.

The move has however led to the need for further discussions relating to upgrades to the EVM semantics when some of these upgrades show incompatibility with pre-existing smart contracts.

ChainSecurity COO Mathias Egli, for instance, highlighted that the EIP 1283 vulnerability was likely not detected by core devs during testing as it impacts smart contracts and not the EVM core development

Activating Constantinople as soon as possible was also necessitated by the Ethereum ‘difficulty bomb’- an embedded code that increases mining difficulty (as well as slowing down block times).

Its implementation is included in one of the EIPs, and as it is already activated, the Constantinople upgrade becomes range bound.

As noted earlier, Ethereum core devs decidedly agreed to have the upgrade activated somewhere between February 26 and February 28. Lane Rettig, one of the core devs, stated that the likely block number will be 7,280,000 if “sensitivity analysis” is used.

That puts the activation at tentatively on February 27, though the core developers will reevaluate this in one of their bi-weekly call sessions in coming weeks.

Once Constantinople is activated on the Ethereum mainnet, EIP 1234 will take effect, delaying the difficulty bomb for another 12 months.

In the interim, the developers delayed any discussions or decisions regarding ProgPow implementation.  According to Hudson Jameson, who chaired the discussion, the consensus within the group was that “dev calls are a bad forum when discussing ProgPow decisions.

As such, the core devs will continue with the discussion on this in the future. However, he couldn’t say whether the discussion will take place during the next call.


Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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