On Friday, September 7th, Hudson Jameson, community manager of Ethereum Foundation officially declared that the system-wide upgrade of Ethereum’s Istanbul hard fork had been set to be activated on the testnet by this October. Jameson, on an Ethereum’s internal core developer call, said,
For anyone listening in who doesn’t know how this works, we pick a block number that we estimate to be around the 2nd of October. However, that might be one or two days behind or forward from that date based on how fast blocks are produced between now and then.
The Ethereum Istanbul hard fork aims at helping the core network overcome its scalability challenges. The update, as proposed, would bring as many as six modifications in the code to improve the performance of the main Ethereum Blockchain further.
Istanbul is Ethereum’s eighth hard fork which has been designed to open the doors for Ethereum 2.0. The upgrade should be able to create a new and more scalable blockchain platform pillared upon a different consensus algorithm and capable of faster transaction speed. The modifications above are also supposed to provide extra layers of protection against replay attacks.
Istanbul, supposedly the last in a series of updates after Byzantium in 2017, and Constantinople in 2019 will provide the Ethereum network with unprecedented scalability, security, and interoperability. Amongst around 30 Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPS) that were considered by the developers, six got approved to be included in the Istanbul fork, in addition to eight more EIPs planned tentatively for a broader system-wide upgrade, dubbed “Berlin.” Among Istanbul’s series of EIPS the most prominent one was the introduction of the ProgPoW consensus that would encourage decentralization by balancing forces on the network.
Followed by the successful implementation of Ethereum Istanbul, we’d be moving closer to the launch of an entirely new blockchain next year. As reported earlier, the upcoming Beacon Chain will use the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus that is meant to consolidate Ethereum 2.0 Serenity. The Ethereum 2.0 is planned to be powered by a new token and end-users will have options to switch from the current Ethereum 1.0 to the new one.
The transition won’t be a breeze. However, once carried out as imagined, Ethereum will become far more scalable and capable of providing increased stability and security. The network’s bold yet much-needed move of deploying Istanbul is going to be a huge plus for Ethereum in the run of remaining competitive in the market.