Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ethereum Upgrade Successful after Second Attempt

Without any incident, two highly anticipated Ethereum upgrades have officially been activated. Ethereum’s fork has satisfied every expectation. On Thursday, Ethereum, the decentralized app platform, was finally able to achieve its major upgrade. The upgrade was initially slated to hold in January but was shifted a day before the main event due to security reasons.

Now, the event that has been held off since January has finally occurred, upgrading Ethereum to a new version named Constantinople. Bearing in mind the security issue that halted the upgrade the first time, a smaller upgrade by name St Petersburg was launched to ensure that the problem does not resurface.

Upgrade Improves Speed and Efficiency

The Constantinople upgrade comes with a number of enhancements to the efficiency and speed of Ethereum. But the most remarkable improvement that comes with it is the possibility for a major upgrade scheduled for some time in the future called Casper.

The Casper upgrade, which sometimes is referred to as Ethereum 2.0, is slated to happen later this year and to bring about a very significant switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, plus other expected changes.

Immediately after Constantinople went live, St. Petersburg followed suit and its duty was to essentially reverse one of the upgrades of Constantinople which posed a security threat. Back in January, this security threat was discovered and if nothing was done about it, had the potential to make the network vulnerable, avenue attackers would not hesitate to use to steal funds.

The Tricky Nature of Major Upgrades

Major upgrades or hard forks, as they are also called, of blockchain based systems just like Ethereum can be quite complicated as network participants are required to switch to the new software. Failure to do so makes the fork to become contentious, which means that the blockchain would be split into two, with some users staying on the old version and some switching to the new one.

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St. Petersburg and Constantinople were activated on Thursday at around 8 pm. Since then, over 3,700 blocks have been mined which is an indication that the fork is going as planned.

In the last 24 hours, the price of Ethereum has come down to $136.81, having fallen slightly by 1%, according to data obtained from CoinMarketCap.

With the successful release of both Constantinople and St. Petersburg, four separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) have been activated officially on the Ethereum network, one of which introduces a new “corner case” that will affect the immutability of smart contract.

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