Next ethereum upgrade ‘Istanbul’ slated for December 4

Initiative is designed to improve security on the platform and speed up the authentication of blockchain data

Blockchain platform 0'>ethereum has confirmed that its next level upgrade, codenamed “Istanbul”, will arrive on mainnet on December 4.

Istanbul, which is designed to improve security on the platform and speed up the authentication of blockchain data, is the last hard fork (radical change in a blockchain’s protocol) in the journey towards the arrival of ethereum 2.0 which is known as Berlin.

Scheduled to take place in the first half of 2020 Berlin is a major evolution of the platform. Its key initiative, the implementation of a new programmatic proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm dubbed “ProgPoW” is set to address some of the issues around how individuals mine for ethereum coins.

It is specifically intended to combat the advantage that ASIC miners (whose kits are tailored to efficiently mine cryptocurrency based on a specific hashing algorithm) have on the network over users of set-ups that use graphics processing units (GPUs).

First though, 0'>ethereum has to successfully launch Istanbul, which is largely built around the implementation of the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1884. This is designed to increase the computational costs of recalling data about the ethereum blockchain for application developers. The theory is that the increased fees will safeguard the platform from potential denial-of-service, or spam, attacks.

There are also new code operations that application developers (one of ethereum’s USPs is its use of decentralised apps or DApps) can leverage to verify and authenticate blockchain data more quickly.

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However, during the call on October 25, ethereum’s core developers also agreed that in the case of any unexpected issues with the upgrade Istanbul’s mainnet activation could be delayed one month to January 8. It is a move clearly influenced by some of the issues ethereum had with the roll out of its Constantinople platform.

“The thing about the [Jan 8th] backstop date is that if we’re going to ship and change the time, we have to build a new client … and get everyone to install the client,” Danno Ferrin, blockchain protocol engineer at ethereum venture studio ConsenSys said during the call. “At least four weeks for a re-spin is necessary.”

To prevent further confusion over which version of ethereum software to run for miners a new code change, created by ethereum core developers Péter Szilágyi and Felix Lange, called EIP 2124, has been ratified.

FURTHER READING: Can you make money from Ethereum 2.0?
FURTHER READING: What is ethereum?

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