Constantinople, the next system upgrade for the Ethereum net which will mark part of the second series of two-part upgrades for the network, has begun testing by system developers.
The upgrade should lead to increased efficiency and lower fees across the network and is set to be initiated at a point before the Devcon 4 Ethereum Conference in October. Meanwhile, though a block number upon which the code will go live must be stipulated, however as yet this has not been specified.
So, what do we know about the timeline for this upgrade? A loose roadmap has been suggested thus far. The implementation stage will go on until August 13th. After that there will be two months where this new protocol will be tested to make sure it’s working as planned. During this time there will also be the launch of a Constantinople-specific test net.
The Constantinople upgrade is the second phase of upgrades for the Ethereum network, which is following on from the Byzantium phase, activated last October. It will make a number of optimizations which rather notably, will lower transaction fees.
According to developers, four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are being implemented at the moment. Péter Szilágyi is the head developer of Geth, the most popular Ethereum client, and has said that almost all of these changes have been implemented.
Ethereum’s nature as an open source project means that new ideas can be submitted and discussed through the Ethereum Improvement Proposals system. These are submitted through Github. Those currently being implemented include EIP 210, which reorganizes the way in which block hashes are stored on Ethereum, and EIP 145, that speeds up arithmetic in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Possible delay in Ethereum’s difficulty bomb and improvement on how gas pricing works are two upgrades also under discussion. However, as of yet no decisions on changing existing protocols have been made.
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