The upcoming two network upgrades of Ethereum (ETH) – Constantinople and St. Petersburg are scheduled to launch on February 28. These updates will happen at Ethereum’s block 7,280,000, which is expected to be mined. There is a possibility that the implementation could happen one or two days before or after the scheduled date, keeping in mind the unpredictable nature of mining.
The implementation of the Constantinople upgrade was about to launch in January, but it was delayed due to a security vulnerability. This upgrade is set to decrease of Ethereum’s block reward and bring multiple efficiency improvements – a new smart contract creation function Create2 and the “difficulty bomb.” The difficulty bomb is a feature that helps prevent miners from continuing their activity on the chain after Ethereum’s switch to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. For the easier mining process, Constantinople will include “thirdening”: a feature that reduces the reward for every miner block from 3 to 2 ETH. It also brings the Create2 function to the platform.
The second update – St. Petersburg, is a network update that is set to delete a previous update “Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283” from the test networks of Ethereum. According to the Ethereum developers, the upcoming hard fork is a “maintenance and optimization upgrade” that will not change any services provided to end-users. Instead, it will change the blockchain’s economic policy and fee structure, and lead its way to a more adaptable platform.
The crypto community has been eagerly waiting for these new upgrades by Ethereum which were concluded during a bi-weekly meeting held on 7th December 2018. Major United States cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken are supporting the latest upgrade of Ethereum. Further, the two exchanges have joined Binance, Huobi, and OKEx in who had pledged to oversee the launch before its first implementation attempt.
As the bears are losing their grip, the price of ETH/USD pair has been moving up for the past two weeks. It has risen from US$103.2 to US$ 167.32. If the cryptocurrency sustains at the current level, then it can move up to US$ 225, and above it to US$ 255. The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is already receiving a positive response regarding the Ethereum mechanism. And such key changes may open the door to a regulated futures contract on Ethereum.
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