Constantinople is the big Ethereum network hard fork/upgrade that was planned to go live by the end of the year. However, its launch on the Ropsten testnet was bumpy and according to multiple developers that work on Ethereum network, it will probably be delayed and won’t go live in this year.
So, what happened?
Constantinople was planned to go live on the Ropsten testnet at 4,300,000 block but as soon as that block height was reached, it was clear that the plan will not pan out. The first issue was that the Ropsten network stalled on the last block before the upgrae – 4,299,999 and it stayed stuck like that for a while.
The cause of the stalling could have been the miners – not happy with the upgrade or there was something wrong with the codebase developers deployed via the upgrade.
One developer on Ethereum’s public Gitter channel commented on the situation, writing:
The fact that all clients are ‘stuck’ means that there is no valid Constantinople block yet… Not for later: never fork on weekends.
Nonetheless, the network got unstuck and moved ahead with the first Constantinople block mined. The joy about the successful upgrade was short and a new worry for developers popped up as there was exactly zero transactions after the hard fork.
The delayed release of Constantinople hasn’t been confirmed by other developers as of the time of press, so many are holding onto the hope that the hard fork is still slated to hit the main Ethereum chain by year’s end.
What is Constantinople?
In short, Constantinople is basically the second of the two-part series of the upgrade called Byzantium. According to the Ethereum sources, Constantinople is primarily designed to be the final half of the protocol upgrade that aims to smooth the transition from a POW consensus algorithm to POS. Péter Szilágyi, lead developer of the most popular Ethereum client, Geth, said that they have already implemented most of the changes. He said, “The EIPs are mostly done”.
As AMBCrypto explains, the following are the main features of the Byzantium hard fork:
- Embedding Transaction Status Code in Receipts
The Byzantium hard fork enables parallel processing of multiple transactions which increases the networks ability to speed up task execution. This is done by communicating transaction statuses using successive blocks thereby starting a series of parallel processes.
- Enhancing Cryptography
The upgrade brought in the code for the implementation of four smart contracts that reduced the power required to execute zk-snarks. Zk-snarks is a cryptography type that is being increasingly used in the cryptosphere due to its ease of use and high-security standards.
- Reducing rewards
The Ethereum network has the concept of rewarding its users with ethers for building blocks. The Byzantium hard fork has brought down the number of ethers given to users from five to three per block.