This week is shaping up to be a big one for the Ethereum blockchain, as a couple of network upgrades are looming in the horizon. Users, investors, and the whole crypto community will be paying close attention to any developments that hold the potential of impacting the industry in one way or another.

The two network upgrades are, according to a blog post published by Ethereum over the weekend, scheduled to happen this week, although the exact date cannot be guaranteed. The two events have been named as Constantinople and St. Petersburg.

To be more specific, the two updates are scheduled to take place at Ethereum’s block 7,280,000. According to the expectation and week forecast, that block should be mined on February 28th, but mining can be somewhat unpredictable, so the wisest thing to do is expect the moment to occur a couple of days before or after that date.

Two Names, One Event

According to Ethereum’s publication, there are two names to describe the situation because, initially, they were to separate upgrades that have been combined into one event. The implementation of Constantinople has been lurking around for months now, but was delayed in January when the team identified a security vulnerability.

“The reason that this network upgrade has two names is because the original Constantinople network upgrade was postponed and two protocol upgrades will need to occur on the same block number in order to fix issues on various Ethereum test networks, such as Ropsten,” the blog post explains.

Among the expected benefits of the Constantinople network upgrade will be several improvements in efficiency. Also, it will delay the “difficulty bomb” and the reduction of the block reward.

If you are not familiarized with the so-called “difficulty bomb,” it is a feature that is supposed to prevent miners from performing their activities in the network after Ethereum’s change to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Yet, the activation of the PoS keeps getting delayed and developers felt the need to postpone the difficulty bomb in an effort to “make sure we don’t freeze the blockchain before proof of stake is ready & implemented.”

Features and Offerings

As a result, the launch of Constantinople will delay the difficulty bomb, or the “ice age” as it has also been referred to, for nearly a year. As a measure to compensate the simpler mining process, the upgrade will also come with an offering called “thirdening”, which is a reduction of the reward for every miner block: it used to be 3 ETH, but now, it will be set at 2 ETH.

The Create2 function will also be present in Constantinople. It is supposed to, according to the rumors; bring in an attack vector to Ethereum, but Vitalik Buterin shot down the concerns recently.

On the other hand, St. Petersburg (the other planned upgrade) will delete a previous one from the blockchain’s test networks: Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283.

Several crypto exchanges have confirmed support for the newest Ethereum upgrade: Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Huobi, and OKEx.

By Andres Chavez


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