Two New Updates Approved For ‘Istanbul’ HardFork

Two new features for improving Ethereum (EIP) have been approved by developers and is ready to be included in the next upgrade termed ‘Istanbul’.

The developers approved EIP 2024 and EIP 1702 among about 30 EIPs for the upgrade, which are tentatively targeted to activate on ethereum mainnet in October. The EIP 2024 features a new precompile to the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which is generally expensive. This precompile brings about hash function Blake2, which verifies blockchain data faster than functions like SHA-3. Projects like Zcash and domain Handshake uses variations of Blake2.

James Hancock, one of the three authors of EIP 2024 said,

“Blake2B means that we could interop with zcash on the ethereum main network… Wrapped ZEC within ethereum, [shielded] transactions, a whole lot of cool stuff.”

The current ethereum virtual machine said to be the very heart of the blockchain network, is expected to be upgraded in the long-term to WebAssembly code, which offers developers greater flexibility when it comes to programming language and performance.

The EIP 1702, on the other hand, aims to optimize the renewal of virtually immutable, self-executing lines of code known as smart contracts. The author of this proposal is the developer of Parity Technologies, Wei Tan.This proposal involves the introduction of a new methodology for hard forks – “account versioning”, that simplifies the process of updating or launching a new virtual machine. Tan said,

“By allowing account versioning, we can execute different virtual machine for contracts created at different times. This allows breaking features to be implemented while making sure existing contracts work as expected.”

According to reports, Ethereum is currently the second largest blockchain in the world by market capitalization with over 20,000 daily active users. Developers are constantly working on more upgrades to make it even more efficient, secure and popular and steps like these are bound to go a long way.