The planned Istanbul hard fork on the Ethereum network has officially taken place. The update occurred on block # 9069000 on Sunday, December 8th.
The block on which the hard fork took place found the Chinese mining pool SparkPool.
The upgrade aimed to ensure Ethereum compatibility with Zcash cryptocurrency, increase the scalability of solutions based on zero-disclosure proof technology (SNARKs and STARKs), change the cost of gas for various operating codes (opcodes) in order to complicate spam blocks and increase the network’s resistance to DoS attacks.
As previously reported, most Parity and Geth clients were still not ready for this massive upgrade.
At the press time, the overall availability of the network was slightly less than 70%.
EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) – proposals for improving the Ethereum protocol, which are submitted for discussion by developers before each hard fork. In preparation for Istanbul, six such proposals were approved:
The second part of the upgrade (Berlin) is expected to happen before the end of June 2020. It should include proposals that require more time for testing, for example, EIP-1057, a controversial issue – a modified ProgPoW mining algorithm, aimed at reducing the influence of ASIC devices.
Ultimately, as the developers hope, upon completion of both parts of the upgrade, the Ethereum network will become faster, cheaper, and more scalable. They expect all this to be achieved without compromising the decentralization and flexibility of the network.
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