Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest blockchain network and cryptocurrency, has completed its Istanbul hard fork at block 9,069,000. This is the third time that Ethereum upgrades its network this year after the St. Petersburg and Constantinople hard forks. ETH remained stable, growing by 0.35% in the last 24 hours.
Istanbul Hard Fork Successfully Completed
With this new network upgrade, the Ethereum network is moving forward with its transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), which is expected to be completed in 2021. In this way, the whole network will become much more efficient and fast to run.
The new Istanbul upgrade includes six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that change the Ethereum protocol in different ways. As reported by ConsenSys, the EIPs accepted for the new hard fork were EIP-152, EIP-1108, EIP-1344, EIP-1844, EIP-2028 and EIP-2200.
These upgrade address different issues such as gas costs, interoperability with other cryptocurrencies such as Zcash (ZEC) and a DDoS attack resilience, among other things.
There are going to be different scheduled Ethereum hard forks in the future as part of ETH 1.x, which is the set of upgrades necessary for the Ethereum mainnet to remain updated in the near-term.
As mentioned before, the goal is to move towards Serenity (Ethereum 2.0) and finally achieve the PoS that the community has been waiting for. This Serenity upgrade will see the rollout of the Beacon Chain as a Proof-of-Stake solution and blockchain.
It is worth mentioning that one of the largest Ethereum clients, Parity, announced that users had to conduct a patch on the Parity Ethereum update before the Istanbul upgrade. This generated controversy among the community, considering Parity represents around 23% of the network.
This could have created a chain split that would have allowed for double spendings. Many exchanges operate with this client.
Ethereum holders and users do not have to do anything special to be compliant with this hard fork unless exchanges or wallet services providers request for it. Miners and node operators had to upgrade their clients so as to run the Istanbul upgrade on Rinkeby, Goerli and Ropsten.
At the time of writing this article, CoinMarketCap reports that Ethereum is being traded around $150 and it has a market capitalization of over $16.28 billion. It has been the second-best performing crypto among the top ten after XRP, that grew by 0.5% in the last 24 hours.