Ethereum has been sidelined somewhat in the last week or two by Ripple and XRP. Some say it is also due to Ethereum’s scalability issues. It is hoped that the Constantinople hard fork will change all that, which will go live on the Ropsten testnet in under a week from today.
Developers have been exploring scaling options and the roadmap was outlined last year. Now, Ethereum is set to undergo several hard forks to address key network drawbacks and concerns, with scaling being one of the top priorities.
The Constantinople hard fork will allow Ethereum to enter its next stage of development. After reaching unanimous consensus among the developers, the hard fork test will ensure the fork behaves as expected, and any bugs can be eliminated during the process.
The main benefits of Constantinople include making way for Ethereum’s impending switch to proof-of-stake. This is a change that has been hinted at before, although no official switch date has been announced. Instead, the developer community recently agreed to delay dealing with mining difficulties and have kicked it down the road for now.
Constantinople also represents the final first phase of the Metropolis hard fork. It will simplify the Ethereum protocol to enable novice users to have a more hands-on approach with this technology. It will also become possible for recipients to pay the gas cost for transactions, whereas currently only the sender can pay. Plus, anonymity will be improved slightly, thanks to this change in the gas payment structure. This will put another important element in place for future scaling options including sharding
For Ethereum, the Constantinople hard fork is a major development. It was scheduled for October of 2018, but it seems that initial plan has been pushed back a bit, as the test is only about to happen. However, this is not a bad thing, as it is better to use additional time ensure the code can address all of the key issues. A delay like this is usually beneficial, as no one likes a network upgrade that only does half the job.
And on a positive note for Ethereum fans, the developers’ approach to upgrading the network through different stages shows their long-term commitment to this project. Plus, Constantinople brings Ethereum one step closer to global real-world adoption.