Ethereum Developers Decide to Activate Constantinople Hard Fork on February 27th, ProgPoW could get Delayed
Ethereum core lead developer Peter Szilagyi tweeted on January 18th that the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork is scheduled to be implemented on February 27th at Eth Block 7,280,000.
The Constantinople upgrade was originally scheduled to happen on January 16th but was called off after the Smart contract audit firm ChainSecurity found a security vulnerability in one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) included in the upgrade.
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
The Constantinople fork will include the five original EIPs and remove the buggy EIP 1283 (cheaper gas costs for SSTORE operations) which will be tested and included in the next Istanbul upgrade. Peter proposes two forks one of which is the main Constantinople fork and other being Constantinople fix up which disables this feature so that everyone who upgraded can have a second fork to downgrade it.
However, the “difficulty bomb” which reduces the Block rewards from 3 to 3 Eth for the next 12 months has already been activated.
ProgPoW to be likely delayed
The recent issues with network improvements have raised questions about how the network changes especially with protocol upgrades that are not compatible with pre-existing smart contracts.
There have been some disagreements in the Ethereum developer community over the ProgPoW change to Ethereum’s hashing algorithm Ethash. It is aimed at reducing the dominance of ASIC powered mining to a more GPU centric mining.
In a recent discussion, some developers objected to ProgPoW. One such developer Alexey Akhunov expressed his concerns over the development and designing Eth 1x which would become harder. There are also concerns over the security aspects which some argue will be increased as GPU miners are likely to attack more as they can shift to other Blockchains.
ProgPoW could also be beneficial to companies like AMD and Nvidia who are leading manufacturers in GPUs. The upgrade could end up taking the mining centralization from ASIC giants like Bitmain to GPU companies.
There are also some philosophical differences over the upgrade in the Ethereum developer community. Overall it is likely that the ProgPoW will be delayed to dive deeper into the research on the risks and trade-offs involved. If they decide to proceed with it anyway then we could see a split in the community.
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