The update will include 3 improvement proposals already included in the hard fork Constantinople. The bit-by-bit information processing will reduce operating costs.
The Ethereum Classic (ETC) network will undergo a hard fork, called Agharta, on January 13th, 2020 at the height of block 9,573,000. The network’s developers agreed on the date of the update in mid-December, when they announced an improvement in the compatibility of the Ethereum and Ethereum Classic blockchains and an increase in transaction processing performance.
The Technology Coordinator at ETC Core, Stevan Lohja, published on December 12th an article in which he stated that the network was preparing for the hard fork by launching several test networks, the last one being Kotti, activated on the 14th of the same month in block 1,705,549.
In his publication, Lohja added that all other test networks succeeded in activating the characteristics of Agharta and determined that there is a low probability for consensus errors. The developers also estimated a review period ending on December 19th, after which the protocol was accepted. At the time of writing this article, there is a countdown that predicts that there are about 14 days left before the confirmation of block 9,573,000.
It should be mentioned that ETC customers such as Hyperledger Besu, Multi-Geth and Parity released versions compatible with the Kotti test network. On the other hand, Multi-Geth launched v1.9.6, which is compatible with Agharta. Besides, the platform notified its users that they should migrate from Geth Classic to any of the other clients, since Agharta would be the last fork that it will support.
Changes Brought by Agharta
Ethereum Classic’s developers specified that the motivation that drove the Agharta strong fork was to improve the capabilities of the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM). For this reason, several operation codes will be added to the Ethereum Classic networks, which have been in use in the Ethereum Foundation networks since early 2019.
They also note that establishing and maintaining interoperable behavior among Ethereum clients is essential in the ecosystem. This will generate benefits for participating chains such as Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, Ropsten and Morden, Görli and Kotti.
The GitHub repository explains that the proposed changes for Ethereum Classic’s update Agharta includes the bit-by-bit information processing code that was part of Ethereum’s Constantinople. This improvement proposal (EIP) adds native functionality to the protocol making it more economical and efficient for executing certain functions within the network.
The improvements in Agharta will include the “Create 2” operation code that drives scalability for transactions outside the Ethereum Classic network. This allows interactions to occur with addresses that do not yet exist within the blockchain, but which can be trusted. The other change that it will assume is the EIP 1052 EXTCODEHASH, which involves optimizing large-scale code executions for smart contracts.
Next Ethereum Classic’s fork will be Aztlán, which will also occur in 2020, but the exact date will be determined later. It was stated that this fork would include the features of Ethereum’s recent update, Istanbul.
In March 2019, three years after the hard fork that divided Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, both communities expressed wanting to go further with the implementation of the project PeaceBridge, which managed to build a communication bridge between the two networks thus making possible the tokenization of Ether (ETH) in the Ethereum Classic network.
By Willmen Blanco