Go-ethereum (or Geth), the most used client software for the ethereum blockchain, has finally released codes for a new version of the software which will support Ethereum’s next planned upgrade in January.
A client software like Geth allows nodes, also known as clients, to connect to connect to the blockchain and carry out activities like verifying transactions and mine blocks. Other than Geth which is the most popular, another widely used ethereum client is Parity.
Other client software include cpp-ethereum and pyethapp. The new version contains a number of notable changes and bug fixes but the most notable is the support for the hard fork block for Constantinople.
Together with Parity, Go-ethereum (Geth) is one of the most important software to run the ETH network.
The description further states:
“It’s also our last planned release of the 1.8 family, meaning that we’ll start merging backwards incompatible changes onto master in preparation of Geth 1.9.0.”
The specific block in which the hard fork update would be implemented was discussed earlier in December and it was defined that the best idea would be to do this, which also sets up the stage for the release of the product.
Just for a reminder, few days ago, Ethereum (ETH) core developers have agreed to launch the long-awaited Constantinople hard fork at block 7,080,000.
The new agreement follows the previous decision to delay Constantinople fork for late January 2019 due to a “consensus issue” that occurred during the upgrade trial on Ropsten testnet in October.
The upcoming Constantinople hard fork encompasses five separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) in order to soften the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to more energy efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
Once activated, the upgrade is supposed to fundamentally change the Ethereum blockchain, with the synchronous nodes update to the entire system.
The Constantinople upgrade is only one step in Ethereum long-term plans to increase its network scalability. The upgrade is said to help improve the network’s efficiency before more technical upgrades such as Casper and Serenity can be incorporated.
Ethereum has been in much need for an upgrade for a very long time, and this initial upgrade could provide a catalyst to bring Ethereum back above the $100 handle as the hard fork approaches.
Constantinople will mark the end of the current version of the Ethereum network, Metropolis. It is going to be the backbone of the next phases of Ethereum’s development: Ethereum 1x and Etehreum 2.0.
Ethereum Difficulty-Bomb Visible Since January
Developers had previously proposed to activate the Constantinople hard fork in November 2018, but issues identified during testing led developers to opt to delay that launch in an effort to squash the bugs.
Core developer Péter Szilágyi then said:
“We can just say mid-January, it doesn’t make difference if we decide on a date or not. We can always postpone.”
Another developer Lane Rettig provided insights into the research done regarding the Ethereum’s difficulty-bomb. The difficulty bomb means the increase in difficulty of mining new blocks on the Ethereum network. Over a period of time as the complexity increases, it will ultimately reduce in a slowdown in the number of blocks added. Ultimately it might prove to be a deterrent for the miners.
Yesterday, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin declared that future blockchains with sharding based on PoS will be “thousands of times more efficient.” Buterin stated that, as scalability advances (driving fees down) and user experience gets better, non-financial applications will become “a bigger part of the story.” He also noted that blockchains are not about “cutting computational costs,” but are instead about increasing computational costs while decreasing “social costs.”
Back in October, Ari Paul, the Chief Investment Officer at crypto asset investment firm BlockTower Capital, explained via a series of tweets the important distinction in cryptocurrency networks between the “cryptographic protocol”, the “consensus rules”, and the “client implementation”:
3/ For all cryptocurrency networks, you have the cryptographic protocol – the way everyone has to interact with the network at the most basic level including submitting and verifying transactions. This is often only loosely documented, and these cryptographic computations
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) October 18, 2018
Changes in ProgPow Implementation
Essential change will be visible also in ProgPow Implementation. Ethereum’s current Proof-of-Work algorithm demands specialized mining hardware like the ASICs. Knowing that ASIC chips are costly, the mining of ETH gets largely concentrated in the hands of big players.
The ProgPow aims at enhancing Ethereum’s resistance to specialized mining hardware like ASICs. So far, the development with ProgPow is going smoothly. However, the developers have yet to arrive at a decision on ProgPow inclusion with the next upgrade.
“We are getting the options out there and then make a decision later on,” said Martin Swende, security-lead at the Ethereum Foundation. “ProgPoW has not been decided as something we are definitely putting in or doing.
Same with any of the working groups we discussed today,” said Hudson Jameson, communications officer for the Ethereum Foundation. The Ethereum market has seen a significant 16% price drop over the past 7 trading days, and an even more extreme 56% price plummet throughout the past 30 trading days.
The Ethereum project is now ranked in 3rd position according to its market cap ranking and holds a total market cap value of $9.59 billion. The 40-month old cryptocurrency is now trading at a value that is a steep 93% lower than its all-time high price.