Etherum’s new fork called Constantinople is upon us. And everyone seems to be looking for what it is all about. How about we take a journey through the Constantinople fork from the root?
WHAT IS A FORK
A fork is when the state of a blockchain platform diverges into a different perspective. It is just like how you update the software your personal computer or the applications on your smart devices. There are two types of fork; soft and hard fork. A soft fork is an upgrade that is backward compatible; that is it can support older version of the blockchain features. However, older versions cannot use the new features. Hard fork on the other hand is not backward compatible. If a user fails to upgrade to the new version, he does not get have any access whatsoever.
Constantinople is the name of Etherum’s hard fork of 2019.
The hard fork is made up of five EIPs. Four of them are aimed at making a short-term improvement in scaling, with the biggest news being the reduction in the rewards that Etherum miners get. The five EIPs are as follows;
EIP1014 – Skinny CREATE2
EIP1014 is expected to improve transactions that occurs between Raiden Network and Etherum’s main-chain. It will create memory spaces in the main chain by executing transactions with side-chains in a completely different memory space. The EIP1014 is the creation og Vitalik Butterin.
EIP145 – Bitwise Shift
This is geared towards the reduction of fuel used in running the Etherum network. Recall that the users of Etherum and its developers pay in the form of Ether which is a gas to be on the platform. However, with EIP145, gas cost could be unbelievably cheaper than the current price. This is expected to boost Etherum’s edge over its competitors as it becomes cheaper to use.
EIP1052 – EXTCODEHASH opcode
This users in a new opcode which will help in the verification of codes when two smart contracts interacts with each other. The EIP1053 uses the functionality of has in increasing the speed in which smart contracts are verified.
EIP1234 – Bomb Delay and Block Reward Adjustment
This EIP is called to action is the aspect of the reduction in the mining reward, from 3 ETH to 2 ETH for each block mined. Most developers mistake this EIP to be a step towards PoS protocol but it is actually not, it is rather a means that will ease the implementation of the protocol that Constantinople proposed.
EIP1283 : Net Gas Metering for SSTORE without dirty maps
This EIP deals with the reduction of the cost of gas that is associated with the storage of data. It is arguably the most technical of all the EIPs, and it works hand in hand with the EIP145
EFFECTS OF THE FORK ON ETHERUM HOLDERS
The Constantinople hard fork is a non-contentious type of hard fork. In a non-contentious hard fork, everyone on the network stops running the old software, therefore no new blocks are added to that chain and all the coins on the cold chain are devalued. This on a long run slows the chain, killing it in the process. On the other hand, a contentious fork results into the users of the blockchain using any of the forks. This will keep the two chains alive, making each coin in it valuable. The fact that Constantinople is a non-contentious fork absolves every iota of fear that holders of the coin harbours as a result of them likening this hard fork to that of Bitcoin Cash. So the hard fork will be somewhat beneficial to the entire network. Block time will likely still be 15 seconds and the cost of transactions is expected to decrease. All holdings on crypto exchanges, cold storage wallets and wallets will be unaffected, but one thing that holders of ETH should be weary of is the case of fraud. There are many people parading themselves on the crypto space as representatives of projects forked out of Etherum. This hard fork is no in anyway like the former fork that birthed Etherum Classic.