Ethereum's Constantinople Upgrade May Go Live in Mid-January 2019

Omar Faridi
  • Ethereum's Constantinople will go live in mid-January 2019.
  • This, according to the latest meeting between Ethereum developers (but subject to community vote).

Ethereum’s developers have decided to activate the Constantinople hard fork upgrade on the cryptocurrency platform’s network at block number 7,080,000, however, this is only set to happen if Ethereum’s community members vote to move forward with the update (at that time).

Constantinople To Go Live At Block Number 7,080,000

The decision to initiate the code changes that are included in the Constantinople upgrade came during the bi-weekly meeting between Ethereum’s core developers this week. Should the Ethereum community approve the codebase modifications that are part of Constantinople, the code will be added when block 7,080,000 is mined.

Afri Schoedon, the release manager for the Parity Ethereum client, has estimated that Constantinople would go live somewhere between January 14 and 18. Martin Holst Swende, the security lead at the Ethereum Foundation, said that the Go-Ethereum client software update will include an option to postpone the upgrade in case there are any problems activating the codebase modifications.

As CryptoGlobe reported in September, the Constantinople upgrade had been tentatively scheduled for October but was then delayed to November. However, due to various issues with the proposed code modifications during the testing phase, Ethereum’s developers had decided to activate Constantinople toward the end of January 2019. So, now it seems that the Ethereum blockchain may be able to accommodate the upgrade a couple weeks earlier as it has now been scheduled for mid-January 2019.

Constantinople To Reduce Miner Rewards 

As covered, the Constantinople hard fork upgrade is expected to make changes to Ethereum’s economic policy, which partly focuses on delaying the “difficulty bomb” for about 12 months - a process that is called the Ethereum Ice Age. Moreover, the modifications to the Ethereum blockchain’s codebase will reduce miner rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block.

Ethereum’s developers also discussed ProgPoW (during the bi-weekly meeting on Friday), which involves making changes to Ethereum’s current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus protocol.

ProgPoW aims to prevent miners from using specialized mining hardware such as ASICs. Although the ongoing development of ProgPoW has been steady, Ethereum’s development team has not yet decided if and when this modified consensus algorithm will be activated on the Ethereum network.

Ethereum 1x, ProgPoW Not Confirmed

Commenting on the upcoming Ethereum upgrades, Swende remarked:

We are getting the options out there and then make a decision later on (regarding ProgPoW).

Ethereum Developer

During the Friday meeting, developers also discussed “Ethereum 1x” - which involves a separate set of upgrades that have been scheduled for mid-2019.

As covered, there are four different working groups (for Ethereum 1x) that have been tasked with exploring various approaches to improving the overall efficiency of the Ethereum blockchain. These include making changes to how smart contract data is processed, performing code optimizations to increase the speed of block propagation, and several other important modifications.