Ethereum (ETH)–The long-anticipated launch of Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade is set to occur tomorrow, the 28th of February. Specifically, the update is scheduled to go live during Ethereum’s 7,280,000 mined block, which at the current rate of production should occur on Thursday Feb. 28. An official blog post by the Ethereum development team includes a countdown timer for investor interested in following the pace of mining efforts.
In addition to the Constantinople upgrade, which Ethereum investors and coin enthusiasts have been anticipating for months, the St. Petersburg update is also schedule to go live at the same time.
The new update is set to change the underlying Ethereum protocol in an effort to improve the system according to proposed Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). For Ethereum users, the primary changes of the Constantinople upgrade will be multiple enhancements of network efficiency, a delay in the Ethereum “difficulty bomb” affecting mining hash power, and a decrease in the amount of ETH reward for mined block.
The difficulty bomb was originally designed to ensure a full migration of miners to Ethereum’s new Proof of Stake based consensus algorithm, which will signal a landmark shift in the currency away from its current Proof of Work protocol. However, PoS implementation has been delayed beyond the scheduled Constantinople upgrade, necessitating that the Ethereum developers also delay the difficulty bomb to avoid halting the current blockchain.
The delay is expected to be for another 12 months, currently being referred to as the “ice age” period, giving Ethereum developers ample time to transition the currency to the Proof of Stake algorithm. However, in response to the lack of increased difficulty, the Constantinople update will include a reduction in Ethereum mining rewards, from its current level of 3 ETH to 2.
Thursday’s upgrade will also include the controversial “CREATE2” EIP implementation, which will allow users to interact with smart contracts that do not presently exist on the blockchain. According to the official release, CREATE2
“Allows interactions to be made with addresses that do not exist yet on-chain but can be relied on to only possibly contain code eventually that has been created by a particular piece of init code.Important for state-channel use cases that involve counterfactual interactions with contracts.In short: This EIP makes it so you can interact with addresses that have yet to be created.”