Step 1: Don’t panic. Chances are, you’re good to go.
The Constantinople hard fork for the Ethereum network is fast-approaching. Slated for block number 7,080,000, the fork is estimated to occur on or around Wednesday, January 16.
With the buzz surrounding the forthcoming update, individuals may be wondering if they need to do anything to prepare for the change. Rest assured, though, that for most users, nothing is required. The “average” user (or somebody who does not mine solo or run a node) will not need to update any software. All exchanges, services, and node providers will make the necessary update, allowing for a seamless transition to Constantinople.
However, solo miners (that is, those not part of mining pools) and individuals who otherwise run their own nodes will need to download the new software.
All this is to say: Your ETH will be fine, though, as many people in the cryptosphere argue, a hard wallet is ultimately the safest place to store cryptocurrency.
For those new to the Ethereum space (or those who don’t follow crypto news), the upcoming hard fork will include five key EIPs: 145, which makes running certain EDCCs (aka smart contracts) cheaper; 1014, which introduces state channels to allow off-chain transaction settlement; 1052, which makes verifying the code of another contract much more efficient; 1234, which delays the difficulty bomb and adjusts the block reward for miners; and 1283, which reduces excessive gas costs.
Byzantium was completed in October 2017, Constantinople is about to occur, and Istanbul is planned for the foreseeable future. With all these updates completed, Ethereum will be closer to reaching Serenity, the last stage on Ethereum’s current roadmap.
Dani Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He received his bachelor’s degree in English writing from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his free time, he writes poetry, plays the piano, and fangirls over fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs, and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.
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