Ethereum – Successful completion of Istanbul Hardfork

After the successful implementation of the St. Petersburg and Constantinople upgrades the systemwide Istanbul hardfork was completed at 0:25 UTC on Sunday December 8, at block number 9,069,000.

This highly anticipated upgrade intends to prepare for the transition to proof-of-stake (POS), enhance security and increase the overall perfomance.


Ethereum Core Developers approve 6 EIPs


These 6 Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) have been approved and successfully implemented:

  • EIP-152: Adds Equihash PoW to the contract and enables Ethereum to conduct relay and atomic-swap transactions with Zcash.
  • EIP-1108: Brings down the expensive zk-SNARKs price, reduces the gas costs and enables cheaper scaling and building privacy-oriented applications.
  • EIP-1344: Adds ChainID opcode for contracts to track the correct chain of state and plasma. It also prevents replay attacks between different chains.
  • EIP-1884: Adjusts the price of EVM opcodes to match with the computation required for a specific operation. It also prevents spamming attacks and balances blocks.
  • EIP-2028: Makes zk-SNARKs and zk-STARKS cheaper by bringing down the prices of gas required for calling data in the transactions.
  • EIP-2200: Restructures calculation of the cost of storage in EVM. Reduces the cost of gas and add news features like re-entry locks and same-contract multi-send.


Berlin upgrade


The second part of the upgrade, called Berlin, is expected to take place in the 2nd quarter of 2020, which addresses the scaling issue of the Ethereum protocol.

Furthermore, ProgPoW is also expected to be launched during the second instalment of the fork. The domination of ASICs leads to a concentration of power in the hands of a limited number of users who own the right equipment. Decentralisation is therefore at risk. A handful of people could potentially gain control of 51% of the network. That would be enough to manipulate the entire blockchain. By introducing this new protocol, Ethereum reduces the effectiveness of the AISCs and encourages the traditional GPUS to be utilized in mining.

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