News Ethereum developers finalize Istanbul upgrade

Ethereum developers finalize Istanbul upgrade

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Ethereum developers just finalized the approved updates for their mainnet fork, bringing the total number of accepted EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) to four, with many more ‘tentatively accepted’. 

The long-debated hard fork, dubbed project “Istanbul,” will be released in two parts. The first, projected for October 16th, will contain the most recently approved code changes. It’s supposed to make the network more efficient.

The second update, to be released sometime in the Q1 2020, will contain the rest of the proposed changes. Further discussion will need to take place before they make a final decision about what’s included. 

In Friday’s update to their GitHub page, they pushed back the proposal for the divisive ProgPoW update to the second update. 

ProgPoW, also known as Progressive Proof-of-Work, is an algorithm designed to reduce the advantages specialized mining software has over regular hardware, making mining more accessible. However, the proposal has proven divisive, and core developers are yet to reach a conclusion.

The discussions for Istanbul started in earnest after the hard deadline for proposals back in May. So far, 18 EIPs have already been officially withdrawn or rejected. 

If all goes to plan, the Istanbul fork will follow the success of its previous fork, ‘Constantinople’. 

Constantinople was largely a technical upgrade, designed to make the Ethereum network cheaper and faster to use.

Ethereum is the second most valuable blockchain behind Bitcoin. Currently, Ethereum has a market cap of over $20 billion. That’s still way behind Bitcoin, whose market cap is over $186 billion.

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