Ethereum’s Constantinople Upgrade — Here’s What You Need to Know
After Initial Delays, the Next Ethereum Hard Fork is Scheduled for block today, February 28th, 2019. We outline what happens next for ETH holders.
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A big update is coming to the Ethereum network today known as Constantinople.
Though the initial rollout has been delayed twice now due to vulnerability concerns, Ethereum developers are now confident the network is prepared for the newest update. Currently, the hard fork is scheduled to occur at block 7,280,000 which is expected to take place on today, February 28th. But is this a “hard fork”? What are the changes happening? And is there anything I need to do as an Ether (ETH) holder to ensure my coins are safe? Let’s talk about all of that and more as we break down everything you need to know about Ethereum’s latest upgrade.
The term “hard fork” often elicits a negative response by many in the cryptosphere. Thoughts of contentious debates, currency splits, and big changes come to mind where enthusiasts have to decide which currency and chain they’d like to support in the future. Hard forks in the past that many are familiar with include the DAO hack and split between Ethereum classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH) as well as the Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fork.
However, not all hard forks are contentious and to the everyday crypto observer, some feel more like a soft fork — though they’re not.
What is a Hard Fork?
At its core, a hard fork is simply an update and change in protocol for the current blockchain that is not backwards-compatible. Depending on the circumstances of the hard fork, most users who haven’t updated to the latest version will realize they’re on the old chain and update to join the new one. When there are disagreements, and a hard fork is considered to be “contentious,” then the community can end up with a currency split and different coins.
But similar to previous non-contentious hard forks in the past like Homestead and Byzantium, Constantinople isn’t going to be splitting ETH or the Ethereum community. In fact, Vitalik Buterin has even discussed using different terminology to avoid newcomers and those less technically inclined in the industry.
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