Istanbul Upgrade: 28 Ethereum Improvement Proposals Under Consideration

Ethereum’s developers have submitted 28 ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs), which include recommended codebase modifications that may be integrated into the upcoming Ethereum (ETH) network hard fork, called Istanbul.

The EIPs  are expected to change the smart contract platform’s mining algorithm, code execution and pricing mechanism, and data storage process.

Deciding Which EIPs to Include With Next Hard Fork

During the bi-weekly meeting between Ethereum Core developers (on May 24, 2019), the blockchain network’s development team discussed various approaches and EIPs which may help the platform scale effectively.

Commenting on the process for considering EIPs to be added to Istanbul, Hudson Jameson, the Community Relations Manager at the Ethereum Foundation, remarked:

We’ll talk more on the All Core Devs Gitter channel to wrangle in some of these EIPs that are still stuck in proposed and as quickly as possible decide on which ones are being implemented for Istanbul.

EIP 1108 Tentatively Approved During Bi-Weekly Meeting

Jameson also confirmed that the deadline for submitting EIPs to be considered for Istanbul passed on May 24. He added that Ethereum’s developers are now reviewing the proposals in order to determine whether they should be implemented in the next Ethereum hard fork .

EIP 1108, which recommends small adjustments to Ethereum network gas fees, was tentatively approved this past Friday (during the bi-weekly meeting). As explained on its Github page, EIP 1108 addresses the following:

The elliptic curve arithmetic pre-compiles are currently overpriced. Repricing the pre-compiles would greatly assist a number of privacy solutions and scaling solutions on Ethereum.

Currently, the implementation details related to EIP 1108 (and other EIPs) are being reviewed and Ethereum Core developers will be presenting benchmarking figures for repricing pre-compiles (for EIP 1108) during the next bi-weekly meeting.

According to Ethereum developer Rick Dudley, EIP 1559, which proposes a new type of transaction fee structure for Ethereum, is “a pretty complicated change.” Dudley believes that the final implementation specifications for EIP 1559 will most likely not be finalized by the time Istanbul goes live.

He also confirmed that the Istanbul hard fork, or backwards incompatible upgrade, will be activated at some point in October 2019. However, Istanbul’s Github states that the exact date and time for the planned Ethereum network update is to be determined (TBD).

ETH Mining Protocol Change Under Review

EIP 1057, which recommends a change to Ethereum’s proof-of-work (PoW) mining protocol, is also being considered to be included as part of Istanbul’s codebase modifications. Notably, the market for ether mining rewards has been estimated to be at $655 million (per annum) and powerful ASICs have been consistently outperforming lower-priced and less powerful graphics cards.

One of the design goals, for Ethereum, is to reduce miner centralization by modifying the current PoW mining protocol or replacing it with the ProgPoW algorithm.

Explaining why the implementation of ProgPoW was postponed, Jameson said

We ran into issues starting the ProgPoW audit. We had a hardware partner who specialized in ASICs who was going to work with Least Authority to perform the hardware parts of the audit. They are no longer participating in the audit so we are looking for other auditors for the hardware portion.

Developer Compiles Spreadsheet of All EIPs Under Review

In statements shared with CoinDesk, Ethereum developer James Hancock noted that the smart contract platform’s development team will be working on merging accepted EIPs for Istanbul. The merged proposals will then be added to Ethereum software clients, Hancock explained.

He also mentioned:

The suggestion is to have reference implementations in two ‘major’ clients. The definition of major is pretty loose.

The blockchain developer has compiled a list of all EIPs being considered for Istanbul and they’ve been marked to indicate whether they’re “ready” to be integrated into the Ethereum mainnet

New Public Blockchain Hedera Hashgraph Launches with 26 Dapps

Michael LaVere
  • Hedera Hashgraph launches open access to its mainnet blockchain with 26 dApps. 
  • Network will support 10,000 transactions per second, in addition to smart contracts and file services. 

The Hedera Hashgraph team has announced the successful launch of its public blockchain mainnet on Sept. 16, which includes 26 decentralized applications. 

Hedera Launches Public Mainnet

According to the release, Hedera Hashgraph is now open to the general public after months of being in a closed beta network for select developers.

Hedera claims to be have a faster consensus algorithm than the blockchain used by Ethereum and Bitcoin, capable of supporting 10,000 transactions per second. The open-access mainnet also allows users to operate smart contract and files services, with the team planning to increase the network’s speed “methodically throughout the remainder of 2019.”

Heredera’s Hashgraph achieves this transaction throughput thanks to a unique feature called gossip, which sees nodes within its network share information – gossip - on transactions, and subsequently gossip on gossip to record each event on the network and create a hashgraph of information.

The network reportedly achieves consensus and is secure by a virtual voting process, where the hashgraph technology uses nodes to ensure Byzantine fault tolerance. Hedera further has a Consensus Service under development that will be made available to the public later in the year. 

Mance Harmon, co-founder and CEO of Hedera Hashgraph, said, 

We are thrilled that, through open access, dozens of decentralized applications are now live and running on the mainnet, along with mirror nodes and other parts of the ecosystem designed to expand Hedera’s reach and adoption.

Hedera uses “council members” to run nodes and maintain the decentralization of the blockchain. The 39 council members, which include IBM and Boeing, also govern changes to the software. 

The enterprise-focused network has earlier this week seen its cryptocurrency, HBAR, get listed on leading cryptocurrency trading platform OKEx as three new trading pairs – HBAR/BTC, HBAR/USDT, and HBAR/USDK were added.

In a press release Andy Cheung, OKEx’s Head of Operations, stated:

Hedera and OKEx share the same goal of building a trusted, safe, and fair digital future for everyone through developing a neutral, open-access infrastructure. With such a powerful, enterprise-grade ledger technology, we believe it is a big step forward in mainstream adoption of decentralization. We are excited to support the Hedera platform and continue to lead this industry forward.

To celebrate listing HBAR, the cryptocurrency exchange launched a 500,000 token giveaway that will see holders and market makers who create maker orders on OKEx have a chance to win a share of the HBAR tokens being given away.

The first 5,000 traders to trade a HBAR trading pair, OKEx’s announcement reads, are also entitled to a share of 150,000 of the half a million HBAR being given away, in proportion to the volumes they trade.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com