The next update of the Ethereum network may have had a tentative release date after Friday, September 6th, immediately after the main developer meeting. It had to be rescheduled as a consequence of the problems with Ethereum Constantinople improvement test.
In accordance with what was discussed at the meeting, the testnet to test the six proposed Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) was agreed for the beginning of October, one month after the initial date had been suggested for September 4th.
This also means that the launch to Mainnet will be similarly delayed until November this year. At the meeting of Friday, September 6th, the community manager of the Ethereum Foundation, Hudson Jameson, explained that for those who are interested in learning how this works, they choose a block number that is estimated to occur around October 2nd. However, it could be a day or two before or after that date, depending on how quickly the blocks are produced between now and then.
The Ethereum developers did not decide on a block number for the activation in the Ropsten test network. It was noted that only six out of the 30 EIPs proposed have been accepted for inclusion in the Istanbul hard fork, while another eight have been moved to the Berlin hard fork.
One of those proposed EIPs is the controversial ProgPoW update, which was designed with the aim to change the mining algorithm and, thus, to ensure that Application Programming Interfaces (ASICs) are virtually ineffective in the mining blocks in the Ethereum network.
It should be mentioned that ASICs are specialized pieces of mining equipment that are many times more efficient and powerful than the graphic processing units that have become popular among Ethereum miners.
This particular update has been under discussion for almost one year. Part of the discussions has included hiring two auditors in order to review the code and ensure that it is economically stable and programmatically adequate to be connected to Mainnet.
One of the auditors, the Minimum Authority, CEO Liz Steininger attended the meeting on Friday, where she explained that, at a high level, the Programmable Proof of Work (ProgPoW) achieves its design goals. She said that it is the most reasonable thing for its expected economic effect, so there are no major problems there. Having said that, it was found that there was a potential attack and some recommendations were provided on things that could be done to have a better guarantee that ProgPoW would work as expected in the future.
The other auditor that spoke at the meeting is more focused on the hardware part of the proposal and, according to Jameson, he should submit his report very soon. Regarding the work of his auditor, called Bob, he said that his audit should be made known very soon. He indicated that it is its final stages and will help to answer many more questions and speculations as to ProgPoW.
It is advised that any concerns expressed about the viability of the EIP implementation be addressed before the EIP is included in the Berlin hard fork.
By Willmen Blanco