The crypto community is now actively discussing the upcoming hard fork of Ethereum called Constantinople. There are lots of misunderstandings and the information redundancy can be quite confusing. We have decided to explain the upcoming fork in details so that you are prepared for it in full.
What is a fork?
There are a few kinds of forks, however, usually people mean exactly the hard fork, when a cryptocurrency implements significant changes that are incompatible with the previous version of wallet software, and the new coin becomes incompatible with the older one. The fork itself happens as some users don’t support the changes or don’t update their wallets in time, and there are two similar coins in existence. They both share the same common older blockchain. Thus, everyone receives the same amount of both new coins after the split, and the wallets have the same addresses and keys to them.
What is the Constantinople fork?
The Ethereum network is facing the new hard fork called Constantinople, which will happen on block #7080000 and estimated to be reached on January 16th, 2019. It is a crucial fork for the whole Ethereum community that will drastically change several aspects of the network and will impact all users worldwide. Although it introduces vast changes, it is highly anticipated and is believed to bring significant improvements to the network. As an indicator of this, the ETH price has almost doubled in the last month.
Apart from smaller improvements that optimize the use of gas and make transactions quite cheaper overall, the Constantinople fork contains a significant scheme of difficulty manipulation which will decrease mining payouts and will postpone the transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake for at least a half a year. This measure is implemented to make sure that everything required for this transition regarding code is ready.
Generally, the fork is highly anticipated by the community, and it is supporting it almost with one accord, so the transition promises to be reasonably straightforward. The most popular wallets have already implemented the patches required to support the fork, and Constantinople is supported by the majority of popular exchanges, such as Binance, KuCoin, Bitforex, CEX.IO, OKEx, Huobi Global, Bibox, and IDEX.