Preparing for the Istanbul hard fork

Endy Callahan

A few hours before the Istanbul update was activated, the Ethernodes service reported that more than half of Geth and Parity customers are not fully prepared for it. Back on December 6, the Ethereum Foundation advised clients to install the latest software for the Parity node. For them, the program was developed and released as a matter of urgency.

Updates required for the Istanbul hard fork

According to the developers, the Parity Ethereum v2.6.6 software received an emergency key. It adds the eip1344_transition functionality to the main network. The company emphasized, "We advise users to update as soon as possible to avoid difficulties during the Istanbul hard fork."

A major update for the 8th time in the Ethereum network is designed to start the transition to ETH 2.0. It will be a new stage in the development of the project, which provides for the transition to the Proof-of-Stake transaction confirmation algorithm.

The future upgrade will allow to achieve compatibility of Ethereum and Zcash coins, as a result, the scalability of solutions based on SNARKs and STARKs technologies will be increased. The cost of using different operating codes will be changed to create block spam problems and increase the network's resistance to DDoS attacks.

Successful hosting of the Istanbul hard fork

The Istanbul hard fork was successful. The update happened on block # 9069000 on December 8. It was produced by the Chinese SparkPool pool.

Istanbul will be the 8th major update in the cryptocurrency network, which occupies the 2nd position in terms of capitalization.

Initially, Ethereum was created as a decentralized blockchain platform, on the basis of which organizations can create smart contracts (in the article "What are smart contracts" you can learn more about the features of digital contracts) and products. Today, many decentralized software solutions use Ethereum as a haven. They are games and projects with tokens built on the basis of distributed registry technology. Decentralized finance also belongs to this group. With the increase in their number, the site will have to solve problems with the throughput of operations.

Ethereum problems and tests

The operation of the Ethereum network is based on the Proof-of-Work algorithm, which has proven itself well with bitcoin. The consensus system provides high reliability and security. At the same time, many experts say that this algorithm is more of a hindrance for Ethereum. This is typical for business solutions that need network scalability and fast payments. Pow-based mining is often criticized for its negative impact on the environment and high energy consumption.

Since 2013, after the launch of Ethereum, the market environment has changed. Today, it is no longer the only smart contract system. Cryptocurrency is experiencing competition from many similar projects, they offer customers reduced fees and good scalability.

As a result, Ethereum's management had to choose: go through a difficult path of change or lose the status of the most popular platform for app developers.

Vitalik Buterin called scalability a problem area of Ethereum

The blockchain of the Ethereum network, which occupies the 2nd position in terms of capitalization, is almost full. Scalability is one of the most problematic parts of the network. This was told by Vitalik Buterin, who is one of the founders of the smart contracts platform. According to him, this is the biggest obstacle for huge organizations that are interested in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Buterin noted, "Scalability is a huge problem, since the blockchain is almost completely full. Large companies are aware that if they join Ethereum, the blockchain will be filled in addition, and they will be forced to compete for space in transactions with other organizations. Today, this is expensive, but if they are joined, the cost will increase fivefold. This pressure discourages potential customers."

According to Buterin, to correct the situation, you need to move away from the model, when each element of the network hardware verifies each transaction. Our goal is to ensure that computers perform verification of a small percentage of transactions in the blockchain. This will significantly reduce costs, but security will suffer. At the same time, the cost of compromise is small. Buterin came to this conclusion.

Scalability is not the only problem. The network needs technological improvements. It's also important that blockchain grows into something that will actually be used everywhere.

Buterin concluded, "Scalability is not the only difficulty. There are challenges in usability, with privacy and security, but there are improvements. You can see progress from a technical point of view, but even with advanced technology, you need to make sure that people use it."

The Istanbul Ethereum hard fork was successful. Many people note that there are difficulties in the world's # 2 cryptocurrency. Another step has been taken in the direction of ETH 2.0. Of course, the coin is experiencing high competition and various problems. But it has a future. Therefore, it is worth considering buying it in the medium and long term. Do not miss the opportunity to get a good income if the asset price increases.