Why Ethereum as a Smart Contracting Platform Needs Constantinople
Ethereum hard fork from time to time and the next system-wide upgrade, otherwise known as Constantinople will be no exception. The hard fork is one of the four main upgrades that will see Ethereum scale and shift from proof of work to proof of stake (PoS). The later will be the final step of the Metropolis, also known as Serenity. By then, the Ethereum should be super fast, scalable and sustainable in the long run.
To better understand how important Constantinople is, it is vital to have the basic knowledge of what a hard fork is. In simple terms, a hard fork is a backward incompatible upgrade. The Ethereum network will update their source code, inculcate updates and better the overall user experience.
Constantinople is an Ethereum hard fork and was initially set for implementation in Oct 2018 via Ropsten TestNet but it flopped. For this hard fork to be successful, validators must upgrade their software to the new Constantinople compatible version. If not, the network would split.
In that unfortunate scenario, ETH holders would receive free coins via Airdrops. This year, we expect two Ethereum hard forks to airdrop free coins via Ethereum Nowa and Classic Vision.
EIPs set for Activation
While Constantinople was for block height 7080000, a technical hitch was sniffed out by ChainSecurity and TrailOfBits. The vulnerability, the security analytic firms said, would enable hackers to launch Re-entrance attack via EIP 1283, siphoning funds like the 2016 DAO attack.
#Ethereum Constantinople mainnet hard fork scheduled for block #7080000, estimated around the 16th of January, 2019!
— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) December 7, 2018
Because of the seriousness of this glitch, the hard fork was postponed to late February. Needless to say, security is paramount and once Constantinople is active, these Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) will come to life as Ethereum edge closer to proof of stake, Serenity:
- EIP 145: will bring about cost-effectiveness as well as efficiency in information processing. There will be the addition of a Bitwise shifting Operator to the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
- EIP 1014: Prepares the network to be accommodative of network scaling solutions.
- EIP 1052: This will bring optimization on the execution of large scale codes.
- EIP 1283: Will introduce better ways of monetization of data storage spaces.
EIP 1234: Reduces miner rewards from 3 ETHs to 2ETHs while postponing the difficulty bomb by another 12 months. This proposal encourages the transition from proof of work to proof of stake.
Why Constantinople is Vital
Seems we're going with block 7.28M for the #Ethereum Constantinople refork scheduled for the 27th of February! Will be a single fork on mainnet and a post-Constantinople-fixup fork on the testnets to get them back in line feature wise with the main network.
— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) January 18, 2019
All the same, Constantinople upgrade on block height 7,280,000 will take place in two steps. The first will see an implementation of all the above EIPs. However, the subsequent hard fork, will see the removal of EIP 1283.
Everything else constant, it is important that the network hard forks. First, Constantinople will show the dedication of the team as well as the community of their intention for Proof of Stake and Serenity. Secondly, without this upgrade, there is no way Ethereum will scale as EIP 1014, for example, has provisions allowing for Sharding and other layer two scaling propositions.
Once 1234 is active, ETH supply shall reduce. In the long run, more so if Ethereum uses picks up, analysts interpret this as bullish.