The next hard fork of Ethereum, dobbed Constantinople which was set to release in November has been delayed for early 2019. The developers confirmed the delayed release in a meeting on Friday. According to the developers, there are several bugs which they found on the test network.
The hard fork proposed five improvements to the blockchain. Constantinople will slightly enhance the network efficiency and significantly reduce the mining rewards (from 3 ETH to 2 ETH). This upgradation will be the second part of the Byzantium upgrade which is meant to move ETH from a proof-of-work consensus algorithm to a proof-of-stake.
On 13th October, the Constantinople went live on Ropsten test net at block number 4,23,000 but the block released with zero transaction. Empty blocks continued to process which means Constantinople had stalled.
Because of the several bugs in the code which was released on the test network, the developers postponed the release of the hard fork to late January or February next year. According to the developers, moving ahead with the hard fork in November would be unwise.
In a live-streamed meeting, developer Afri Schoeden said that
“I keep getting the feeling that we’re trying to rush this and I would second that we should breathe and see what happens.”
Security head at the Ethereum Foundation, Martin Holste Swende said that “there could be time at that point to include code for another proposition, named ProgPow, into Constantinople.”
The main aim of ProgPow is to shore up the resistance of ETH to specialised mining hardware which could price out smaller mining operations that use GPUs to mine.
In the previous core developer meeting, ProgPow was discussed, and it was decided that the code could not be rushed into the Constantinople. It can be added to Ethereum with another hard fork shortly after the Constantinople.
According to the communication officer for the Ethereum Foundation, Hudson Jameson developers have to prepare a lot to release the hard fork on mainnet. He said that
“We need to coordinate more with miners on when we switch over hash power, and that also includes mainnet.”