The Constantinople Hard Fork: Take Two

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Ethereum core developers suffered a setback just 48 hours before the Constantinople hard fork was due to happen. There was a vulnerability in the code and so the event didn’t happen.

The upgrade to the ethereum network, called Constantinople, is aimed at introducing a series of backward-incompatible changes — also known as a hard fork — to the network supporting the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, ETH having recently overtaken XRP to regain second place behind bitcoin.

The bug led to a delay, but the team announced plans to reschedule it for late February relatively quickly. The code is now expected to activate sometime during the last week of February — specifically, at block number 7,280,000 — and ethereum’s core developers are confident that Constantinople won’t fail this time around.

Hudson Jameson, who handles developer relations for the Ethereum Foundation, told CoinDesk, “I suspect it will go as planned. The block number has been set and [the upgrade] is hard coded in the clients now so it’s going along fine.”

Jameson also told Coindesk that one of the important takeaways from the failed attempt in January is that there needed to be “better communication with miners to let them know about the upgrade.” It is not the case that miners are impacted directly by the code issue, but miners and other users who run complete copies of the ethereum blockchain (the nodes) needed to be notified promptly about the cancellation of Constantinople so that it wasn’t actually deployed, and thereby creating possible disruptions.

CTO Hubert Ritzdorf commented on how impressive the speed of everyone’s reactions were to the decision to delay Constantinople: “Many people had to update so they had to know what to update to. On many different levels it became clear even though there is no central command, the [ethereum] community collaborates very efficiently.”

Currently, it is estimated that the Constantinople hard fork will go ahead on 28th February.

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