Constantinople, Ethereum’s next system-wide upgrade via a hard fork has officially been delayed until January or February 2019. The delay comes as a result of finding several bugs in the code on the testnet platform that went live on October 13.
In a recent meeting, the team behind Constantinople stated that launching this year would be a bad idea, as they are not ready.
Ethereum developer Afri Schoeden states:
I keep getting the feeling that we’re trying to rush this and I would second that we should breathe and see what happens.
As Constantinople is such a major upgrade to the Ethereum protocol and requires a hard fork to implement the changes, the developers feel it’s best not to rush this upgrade.
What is Constantinople?
Constantinople is a backwards-incompatible upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain that includes 5 different Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs). The EIPs include changes to the code for better processing times for developers, fairer pricing structures, changes to Ethereum’s economic policy, and important scaling solutions.
- EIP 145: A technical upgrade detailing a more efficient means of information processing on the Ethereum blockchain known as bitwise shifting.
- EIP 1052: A means for optimizing large-scale code execution on the Ethereum blockchain.
- EIP 1283: The introduction of a fairer pricing method for changes made to data storage.
- EIP 1014: A scaling solution created by Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum. This scaling solution proposal is based upon state channels and off-chain transactions.
- EIP 1234: The reduction of block mining reward issuance from 3 ETH to 2 ETH. This upgrade would delay the difficulty bomb for a period of 12 months.
Even once Constantinople is fully launched in early 2019, the goals and initiatives the EIPs present will be continuously developed even after Constantinople is fully released. For instance, since the Constantinople delay, implications for another proposed change haves already come up.
Prior to the decision of postponing Constantinople, Martin Holste Swende, the lead security of Ethereum, said:
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if we do decide that Constantinople isn’t until January or February, then I would probably try to push for including ProgPoW into Constantinople.
ProgPoW is a change in Ethereum’s code that presents a slight consensus mechanism shift to defer the threat of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners. If ProgPoW is to be implemented into Constantinople, the Ethereum blockchain could prevent another hard fork from happening, as the code would already be implemented.
Therefore, the postponed launch of Constantinople may actually be more beneficial to the Ethereum network than if it had launched on time.
Despite the Constantinople delay, it’s clear that Ethereum’s development is still going strong, and it’s one of the fastest-growing projects on GitHhub. At the time of this writing, October 22, 2018, there are 96 million open-source projects and 27 million software developers on the code repository.
According to the activity seen on GitHub’s Octoverse, Ethereum is the 5th- largest growing open- source project on the entire platform. This is absolutely huge considering the number of projects and developers on the platform.
Taking all of this into account, even though Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade has officially been pushed back until January or February 2019, it’s clear that Ethereum’s development — and the community’s faith in the project — is stronger than ever.