The much-awaited Ethereum’s hard forks dubbed “Constantinople and St. Petersburg” will be activated today on the 28th of February when the block height reaches 7,280,000.
The upgrade comprises 5 Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which will usher in the path for the network to transition from the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus protocol. The two hard forks, as expected, will make the Ethereum network faster and less expensive to operate.
It is worth noting that this is just an upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain and not some sort of a split in the community. However, whenever there is a hard fork, there can be a new cryptocurrency birthed. But Constantinople is just an upgrade. Therefore, a split is not a very probable outcome. An example of a hard fork already having been implemented is when Bitcoin switched from Bitcoin Classic to Bitcoin Cash to implement smaller fees and improve transaction speed.
The upgrade has faced numerous delays
The initial trial of the Constantinople hard fork occurred in October 2018 on the testnet platform. There were intents to activate it on the primary blockchain by December 2018. Unfortunately, developers encountered a few problems, and the planned system-wide upgrade was scheduled for January 16, 2019.
In January 2019, Ethereum developers led by Vitalik Buterin called for the postponement of the upgrade after a blockchain audit startup, Chain Security, unearthed security vulnerability in one of the five planned changes included in Constantinople. According to Chain Security, if it were to be implemented, would have allowed malicious parties to steal users’ funds from the network. The firm said the vulnerability allows a bad actor to request funds from the system multiple times and provide false information about his actual ETH balance.
It remains to be seen whether the hard fork will trigger a spike in bullish sentiments across the entire cryptosphere. At press time, according to CoinMarketCap, Ethereum (ETH) is trading at $137.97, down 1.22% in the past 24-hour period.