Confused about the Constantinople Hard Fork? Read on!
Ethereum’s next hard fork system upgrade, Constantinople, has been much talked about recently. The hard fork scheduled for 16th January hasn’t quite been understood by the public yet. If you’re also confused about it, this article has everything you need to know about the upgrade.
As Consensys puts it:
“Constantinople is the name of Ethereum’s next hard fork system upgrade. It is part of the multi-step journey towards Serenity, which implements revolutionary protocols such as Proof of Stake. On December 6th, 2018, the Ethereum core developers voted to proceed with Constantinople, which will be implemented at block 7,080,000. With an average block time of ~14.5 seconds, that puts the estimated date of the Constantinople hard fork at January 16th, 2019.”
This doesn’t mean that the currency would split just like it did with Ethereum Classic (ETC). Uncontentious hard forks have happened in the history of Ethereum such as Homestead and Byzantium without currency splits.
Five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) would be integrated with Constantinople tackling issues pertaining to miners, cost, functionality, and speed.
The first EIP, EIP 145 will add Bitwise shifting instructions to the EVM. This would increase the efficiency and speed of the network. As the team puts it:
“EIP 145 will add Bitwise shifting instructions to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The instructions allow for bits of binary information to move to the left and to the right. This improvement means the execution of shifts in smart contracts will be 10x cheaper.”
Next up, we have EIP 1052 which improves the speed and reduces energy consumption by smart contract verification:
“EIP 1052 allows for smart contracts to verify one another by pulling just the hash of the other smart contract. Before Constantinople, smart contracts would have to pull the entire code of another in order to verify, which took time and energy to perform.”
EIP 1014, known as CREATE2, was developed by Vitalik Buterin. The upgrade aims at improving the enablement of state channels. This Ethereum scaling solution is based on off-chain transactions.
Next up is EIP 1283, the full name of which is ‘Net Gas Metering for SSTORE Without Dirty Maps’ is one that decreases the gas cost for the SSTORE operation. This enables multiple updates within a transaction to occur at reduced costs.
Last of the five EIPs being implemented is EIP 1234, one of the most highly-discussed Constantinople upgrade. It comprises two components, Block Reward Reduction, and Difficulty Bomb Delay.