I love a good pun and the long awaited Ethereum hard fork has provided plenty…
Fork in the road...
Anyways, let’s talk about what the fork is going on.
After multiple delays, Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, underwent two hard forks. The sixth and seventh system-wide upgrades to the software, Constantinople and St. Petersburg, initiated at block number 7,280,000 Thursday evening.
First off, what is a “fork?”
A fork is largely a change in programming to the blockchain protocol as a whole. Depending on the fork, it can be driven by the need for general system upgrades or a difference in opinion from the community around scalability, safety, and overall philosophy. Most of the headline-catching forks are “hard forks,” in which the new version renders the older invalid. “Soft forks” actually result in a new version of the protocol that is compatible with the old version.
In many hard forks, the result is two different versions of the protocol that operate independently post-fork. This is how we have BCH (forked from BTC), ETC (forked from ETH), and most recently, Bitcoin SV (forked from BCH).
The Constantinople hard fork Thursday implemented five upgrades that included introducing bitwise shifting to more efficiently process information, off-chain transactions, the optimization of large-scale code execution, the reduction of mining rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH, and the reduction of gas costs in certain instances.
The second hard fork, St. Petersburg, addressed security vulnerabilities in a previous update, deleting it from Ethereum’s test networks.
The two forks were successfully implemented, and so far, it looks as if there is no split in the blockchain.
Following the fork, Ethereum’s price remains flat:
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