Ethereum, one of the world’s most popular networks for the deployment of smart contracts and development of decentralized applications (DApps), has undergone a hard fork. Dubbed ‘Istanbul,’ the system update adds new features and improvements to the existing solution.
Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork Goes Live
Ethereum’s network underwent its long-awaited hard fork called Istanbul. It took place at block number 9,069,000, and it represents the third network-wide upgrade in 2019. Interestingly enough, this is the eight hard fork that Ethereum’s blockchain goes through since its inception, the last one of which is Constantinople.
As it is always the case, Istanbul brings forward Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). This time, there were 11 proposed EIPs, while only six of them were selected for implementation, according to an official blog post.
Summarized, the improvements will address the following issues:
- Gas Costs
- Added resilience against Denial-of-Service attacks (DDoS)
- Interoperability with cryptocurrencies which are based on equihash proof-of-work
One of the more exciting accents is the increased interoperability between Ethereum and Zcash. Besides, more changes to the operation codes are introduced to improve the scalability performance for solutions that are based on zero-knowledge privacy technology such as SNARKs and STARKs.
What Should Users Do?
According to the official release, people who hold or transact ether through a mobile wallet, a hardware wallet, or store them on a cryptocurrency exchange, there’s nothing that needs to be done. However, should the service that’s being used put forward specific instructions, users should make sure to use them.
Node runners, on the other hand, were supposed to update their software to an Ethereum client version, which is “fork-ready” by December 1st.
However, there was a scare before the hard fork took place, coming from Ethereum’s client Parity. They released a tweet for Parity Ethereum users to implement a patch on the pre-released update before the hard fork occurred.
URGENT RELEASE: Upgrade now to the latest version of Parity Ethereum to make sure you’re #Istanbul-ready.
Parity Ethereum v2.5.11-stable and v2.6.6-beta https://t.co/t2bJLNuyZV
— Parity Technologies (@ParityTech) December 5, 2019
Despite the fix on its being reasonably simple, it was brought up that if certain clients failed to update it on time, this could result in a new chain and double-spending.