The ethereum blockchain has undergone a series of developmental stages and a couple of hard forks. One of such hard forks is the Ethereum metropolis.
Ethereum Metropolis is the third phase in Ethereum’s four-step roadmap to improve its blockchain. The overall upgrade aims to make the blockchain more secure and scalable.
In this guide, You will learn about the Forks, Ethereum Hard fork, and the main Ethereum hard forks. You will also learn what the Ethereum metropolis is all about, the phases involved and the developments they hope to bring to the blockchain.
What is a Fork?
Forks in cryptocurrencies are known as changes in the protocol of that currency. This type of change validates the block in the previous version and disables the current version (or vice versa).
The two types of forks
There are two types known as soft forks and hard forks.
These are watered-down versions of Hard forks. They are called soft forks because they do not change the actual structure of the protocol.
Soft forks are implemented by cryptocurrency developers or creators to perform specific maintenance tasks. It could also be to change something in appearance or change some of the rules surrounding the blockchain.
However, hard forks are a whole different story. Hard forks are a major change for the cryptocurrency in question. They modify the cryptocurrency protocol itself, disabling older versions of that protocol. If the old version survives, it will be separated from the new version. Ethereum has such an example.
Hard forks are used in extreme conditions. They are not planned, their occurrence is due to needing. This makes sense because there is no good reason to implement a hard fork in a normally functioning cryptocurrency.
Now let’s move on to how the Ethereum metropolis came to be.
Ethereum Hard Forks
The Ethereum Classic, EtherZero, and Ethereum Metropolis are the three major Ethereum hard forks.
It is the first hard fork of Ethereum. It is also the most controversial of all ETH hard forks. At one point, the development team behind Ethereum noticed that the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) had been hacked.
The decision to implement a hard fork to recover all the stolen crypto coins was swift. However, it also received backlash. Ethereum supporters and enthusiasts divide into two camps. First were glad that the team behind this cryptocurrency is moving fast and not letting that happen.
A hard fork means that the developer has learned the lesson and is ready for similar hacking and breach attempts in the future. However, many opposed hard forks. They regarded this change as a violation of the basic meaning of “decentralized”.
This group of people believes that no involvement is the only way to use a truly decentralized cryptocurrency. So as not to cause a spillover effect as soon as the developer takes action, resulting in a huge statement in the future. Ultimately, the Ethereum developers decided to implement a hard fork.
Hence, cryptocurrency has been split in half. The majority of those who disagreed with the split ended up sticking with an older version of Ethereum, now known as the Ethereum Classic. Today there are still two camps in the crypto community – some think it is right for the developers to fix the issue ASAP, while others stick to their beliefs and still support it. Some people praise it.
EtherZero is another famous Ethereum fork. Not as extreme as the Ethereum Classic – aimed at improvement, not revolution. EtherZero aims to speed up the transaction rates that occur within the Ethereum network. In addition, Ethereum Fork is determined to make transactions completely free. Much of the crypto world sees these as very bold goals.
It is also a “proof of work” based fork. This means that using a GPU-like platform is the only efficient way to exploit it. It should be mentioned that there are plans to implement a master node (“proof of stake”) system on the Ethereum fork in the future.
Moving on to the third Hard fork, which is the ethereum metropolis.
Metropolis is the current fork of Ethereum. However, the fork was not created for extreme situations. This is part of a plan to improve the existing Ethereum blockchain. There are a few important features that Metropolis Ethereum Fork aims to improve.
First, there are a lot of privacy-related features that will be overhauled in Ethereum Metropolis Fork. The current privacy settings and options for the Ethereum network aren’t bad at all, but the new features are up to date and ensure improved privacy during transactions.
Another major change that the Ethereum Metropolis Fork is trying to implement is the consensual “Proof of Stake” system rather than the current “Proof of Work” system. When this is done, it will wipe out Ethereum mining as a whole. Instead, you can bet a portion of your Ethereum coin to automatically see the transactions taking place on the Ethereum blockchain and receive a certain amount of income.
To learn more about proof of work and proof of stake, Read Proof Of Work Vs Proof Of Stake (Pow Vs Pos): Similarities And Differences
Ethereum mining (GPU, CPU, ASIC, cloud) is a very popular activity among fans of these cryptocurrencies. PoS systems theoretically accelerate the processes that take place within the network. However, such changes can result in massive dumps of mining equipment on the market, leading to price changes that are detrimental to platform components.
Phases of Ethereum Metropolis
Ethereum Metropolis is composed of two phases. They are
- Byzantium (considered to have ended)
- Constantinople (currently the active one)
Let’s dive into the two Ethereum Metropolis fork’s phases.
Byzantium aimed at making the Ethereum platform safer and better to optimize. It did this step by step, but the original goal was to make the network more secure and seamless. As things stand today, Byzantium contains a total of nine Ethereum Enhancement Protocols (EIPs) for the network.
A new feature for embedding transaction return data in receipts enables clients to determine whether a transaction was successful or not. This also affects off-chain tools. Another update will delay the difficult bomb currently being detonated on the network. It will ensure that transaction times do not become unbearable. The transaction times are currently around 25 seconds, high according to Ethereums standards of 10 seconds.
This update will also decrease the rewards miners get for blocks. As a result, the mining process will be faster and cheaper. Another mining solution removes a previous bug in the difficulty setting to ensure that the lockout time stays more stable.
The new pre-builds released on Byzantium pave the way for something called zk-snarks. This is a cryptographic process that enables truly private transactions on the Ethereum network for the first time. This is done in cooperation with z-cash, the data protection-oriented cryptocurrency, which is the first widespread application of the technology.
Why Is Byzantium Important To This Ethereum Ecosystem?
The changes implemented on the Byzantium Hard Fork are designed to make Ethereum lighter, faster, and secure. Here is a summary of the most important changes and their impact on the ecosystem.
- Embedding Transaction Status Code In Receipts
- Enhancing Cryptography
- Reducing And Doing Away With Rewards
- Why The Byzantium Hard Fork Matter To Investors
#1. Embedding Transaction Status Code In Receipts
Byzantium hard forks convey the status of a transaction in successive blocks. Previously, transactions referenced the root parameters of the Merkle tree. This allowed for sequential sequences of transactions, but parallel processing could not speed up chain formation. Byzantium hard fork blocks can perform parallel processing of multiple transactions simply by communicating success or failure. This helps the Ethereum blockchain process transactions faster than before.
Parallel processing also helps create parallel blockchains or second-level solutions. This is similar to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network that can further speed up processing.
#2. Enhancing Cryptography
The Byzantium upgrade includes code designed to reduce power requirements for implementing zk-snarks. Zero-knowledge cryptography is becoming the standard for the confidentiality of future transactions, involving cryptocurrencies.
Simply put, zero-knowledge proofs are mathematically intensive calculations. They hold the required encryption keys without disclosing the contents of the required encryption keys.
The new contract ensures that compute-intensive operations are performed directly on the processor rather than using Ethereum clients. This results in lower overall power consumption.
#3. Reducing And Doing Away With Rewards
Ethereum Byzantium rewards reduce block rewards from 5 ethers to 3 ethers per block. This reduction is in line with Ethereum’s final plan to eliminate block rewards. Furthermore, to also move trades to a proof-of-stake algorithm that is approved by the node with the most coins.
Ethereum is currently using the Ethash algorithm, a modified version of Bitcoin’s Proof of Work algorithm. The move to Proof of Stake will help facilitate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
#4. Why The Byzantium Hard Fork Matter To Investors
Ethereum Byzantium Fork aims to pave the way for the spread of Ethereum and its smart contracts. Following the announcement of the hard fork, the price of cryptocurrencies has risen. In fact, since the implementation of Byzantium, the number of transactions in Ethereum has exceeded the number of transactions in Bitcoin. This is a precursor to the future when smart contracts will become mainstream.
Furthermore, By including Zk-snarks, Ethereum’s network can be used for business transactions that require privacy. In other words, the Byzantium hard fork helps Ethereum reach its promised potential.
While Constantinople aims to complete the Ethereum Byzantium process and focus on one major goal. The goal is therefore preparing the Ethereum blockchain for the transition between PoW and PoS systems. This is a big goal in itself and will take some time to be fully implemented.
Constantinople is very popular with the Ethereum community. This includes a lot of common sense suggestions that make Ethereum more efficient and secure. Almost all exchange providers and major mining operations on the Ethereum network have committed to supporting hard forks. Many of them issued official statements that the software will be updated on time.
With a relatively quick timescale and low expectations, you can expect a successful upgrade. Even EIP1234, Constantinople’s most controversial clause is concerned with the Ethereum Serenity timeline and lump-sum rewards before the next upgrade. However, it’s not enough to split or deter stakeholders.
As Serenity approaches, it could be a more complete change to the Ethereum network. This upgrade can be a more difficult sale for the entire community. Overall, the Constantinople upgrade focuses on Ethereum performance and scaling. They also lay the foundation for future changes to Serenity that provide proof of stakes and sharding.
Let’s take a look at the widespread provisions of Ethereum Constantinople in the community.
EIP 145 – Bitwise Shifting
The bit shift is an operation that adds or removes the end number of the binary representation of the value. Ethereum uses bitwise shifting in many cryptographic and contractual calculations.
However, if you add or delete a bit of the end of the binary number, it is simply dividing or multiplying the original number by 2.
EIP 145 Simplifies some of the mathematics involved in the development of a smart contract. Thus allowing them to work more efficiently, to use a smaller number of network resources, and requires fewer gases to do so.
EIP 1052 – EXTCODEHASH
When a contract calls the others, you wish to have a way to check the authenticity of this agreement before the permission of an irreparable modification in the block. There are already tools that automate this process for intelligent contract programmers but are based on the complete verification of the code.
EIP 1052 allows contracts to do the checking. It uses a new Opcode, Extopedhash, which returns Keck256 Hash from basic contract data. This is an effective way of white contracts, such as SHA256 HASH and SUMSUMS, which are used to verify the authenticity of other types of files.
EIP 1283 – Net Gas Metering
EIP 1283 is part of a series of improvements throughout the trial path for the use of network resources. Smart contracts can be expensive to use, so Ethereum wants to reduce operating costs that do not require network resources.
This EIP also establishes a new fee for users who store locally, which are already stored continuously on BlockChain. This redundancy is useless and the new fees must discourage developers from using the smart contract in this way.
EIP 1014 – State Channels
This is a significant improvement in Ethereum’s scalability and lays the foundation for future scaling work. State channels allow two parties to interact without having to record individual transactions within the blockchain.
Instead, the parties can open a channel between them with the opening deposit. As a result, execute as many offline transactions as they need without getting stuck in the blockchain ledger.
EIP 1234 – Block Rewards & Difficulty Bomb Delay
This EIP has two parts. This is the most controversial EIP in the Constantinople upgrade.
- Block Reward Reduction
- Difficulty Bomb Delay
#1. Block Reward Reduction
Known as the “third” among miners, this EIP reduces block rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per mined block. This is an effort to control inflation and balance the rates of creation of ETH and the rates of loss.
#2. Difficulty Bomb Delay
Once the Difficulty Bomb is active, mining ETH becomes increasingly difficult as Ethereum moves from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. The Ethereum Casper’s Proof of Stakes isn’t ready yet, so it doesn’t make sense to trigger the bomb right away.
Ethereum Serenity is the last major step in the development of Ethereum. It comes right after the Ethereum metropolis. Serenity is dedicated to one goal and the goal is to move the Ethereum blockchain from PoW to PoS.
Ethereum Byzantium and Constantinople are two major preparatory stages. During this period, some transactions are made through Consensus Proof of Stake to start preparing the system for migration.
Ethereum Serenity is a milestone for Ethereum. It changes everything that people are used to when it comes to mining this crypto.
Impact On Ethereum Price
Will Metropolis upgrades affect Ethereum prices? This is perhaps the hottest question among all Ethereum investors. However, in reality, no one knows. Based solely on supply and demand.
The price of Ethereum may drop as the mining process becomes more difficult. Upgrades, on the other hand, can increase investor interest in Ethereum and ultimately increase prices.
Some investors are concerned that Ethereum Metropolis will lead to the formation of new tokens. However, it won’t lead to a split, especially as the community is united on this issue so far.
Ethereum Metropolis will facilitate the use of the Etherum network – faster and safer, paving a better way to develop.
The entire encryption community can not wait for the last track of Constantinople. In this way, Ethereum will take another main step towards serenity and complete implementation.
As you can imagine, there are really radical changes. These changes are not only for the benefit of developers, but they also help to run to completely implement pos.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to Ethereum after fork?
the update will reduce transaction fees by burning Ether with each transaction.
Is hard fork good or bad?
A hard fork marks an unstable time for a cryptocurrency.
What is Byzantium in Ethereum?
The Byzantium hard fork is an update to ethereum’s blockchain.
- okex.com – What is Ethereum Metropolis
- blockgeeks.com – ethereum metropolis
- coindesk.com – metropolis ethereums next big upgrade
- chainbits.com – metropolis ethereum definition
- bitdegree.org – ethereum fork
- skalex.io – ethereum constantinople