Ethereum Constantinople Almost Ready to Launch

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Ethereum’s much-anticipated Constantinople upgrade, which aims to ease the transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a more energy efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, should go live in January 2019, according to a decision taken at a development meeting last week. Implementation of the upgrade has been proposed for block 7,080,000 which will occur around the middle of January, but needs approval from Ethereum’s community members first. This approval will only be given around the time of the upgrade, so the community still faces another month’s wait before the move can be rubber stamped, but this is thought to be only a formality.

Easing the Transition

Constantinople’s imminent arrival will come as a great relief to developers, investors and fans of the project who had become concerned with the delays. After several delays throughout 2018, implementation had been expected at the end of the year, but a series of bugs led to the platform being “not usable” and in October the upgrade was delayed until 2019. A mid-January implementation would represent only a two-week delay from this latest revision, which shows how hard the team has been working since October.

The Constantinople upgrade is being done in the main to begin the PoW-PoS transition and will reduce miner rewards as a result, also delaying the Ethereum ‘Difficulty Bomb’ for about twelve months. This term refers to the increase in difficulty which will be introduced to the PoW algorithm as the switch to PoS begins, designed to disincentivize miners who seek to take advantage of the reduced mining competition during the switch.

Still on Top?

Ethereum is one of the most influential projects in the cryptocurrency space, having pioneered the concept of smart contracts on the blockchain and allowing decentralized apps (dApps) to be built on the platform. In the last couple of years however, other entrants have entered the dApp creation space such as EOS, NEO and Tron with faster more flexible platforms, forcing Ethereum to increase its scalability in order to remain current.

Whether upgrades like Constantinople and the forthcoming Casper will help maintain their position as one of the big players only time will tell.