The Ethereum network will be experiencing a programmed upgrade at block number 7,280,000, which is prophesied to befall on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The specific date can be changed depending on block times and could be initiated 1-2 days before or after, the official Ethereum blog posted.
Constantinople and St. Petersburg are the names given to this network upgrade. The upgrade was intended to occur on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, block 7,080,000. Some significant bugs were discovered before the upgrade was stationed and the entire fork was delayed for about a month.
A network upgrade is a modification to the underlying Ethereum contract, building new practices to enhance the system. The decentralized quality of blockchain systems creates a network upgrade more complicated. Network upgrades in a blockchain need collaboration and interaction with the inhabitants, as well as with the developers of the different Ethereum clients in order for the development to go placidly.
Just a few days ago smart contract audit company ChainSecurity found a possible security vulnerability. Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1283, if executed, could give attackers a knothole in the code to take user assets. Hence, Ethereum developers had agreed to postpone the hard fork temporarily. Now, the Ethereum team is striving hard to restore Constantinople to use its upgrade accurately. At the time, the developers are trying to deliver the new upgrade at the end of February, around block 7,280,000. The developers are quite certain that they will not face obstacles again.
The security audit firm ChainSecurity found that the expected Constantinople Upgrade for the Ethereum network offers cheaper gas cost for some SSTORE actions. As an undesired side impact, this allows reentrancy attacks when applying address.transfer(…) or address.send(…) in Solidity smart contracts. Earlier these functions were viewed as reentrancy-safe, which they aren’t any longer.
What do you need to do?
The official blog has posted that users of exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken, or Binance or users of a web wallet service such as Metamask, MyCrypto, or MyEtherWallet or hardware wallet users such as Ledger, Trezor, or KeepKey need to do nothing unless they are notified to take further steps by their exchange or wallet service.
Miners or node operators who do not want to engage in the upgrade and if they are using an Ethereum client that is not updated to the latest version then their client will sync to the pre-network incline blockchain once the upgrade transpires. They will be held on an incoherent chain following the old laws and will be inefficient to transfer ether or run on the post-upgrade Ethereum network.
What happens during a network upgrade and What changes are going into Constantinople?
After the association comes to a consensus regarding which modifications should be incorporated in the upgrade, modifications to the contract are written into the different Ethereum clients, such as geth, Parity, and Harmony. The protocol modifications are initiated at a particular block number. Any nodes that have not been updated to the new protocol will be dropped on the former chain where the earlier rules remain to survive.
Variations that are executed in Constantinople are described using EIPs. Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) specify measures for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol terms, client APIs, and contract rules.
The following EIPs will be implemented in Constantinople:
- EIP 145: Bitwise shifting instructions in EVM
- EIP 1014: Skinny CREATE2
- EIP 1052: EXTCODEHASH opcode
- EIP 1234: Constantinople Difficulty Bomb Delay and Block Reward Adjustment
Changes of St. Petersburg
Before Ethereum delivers network upgrades on the principal network, test networks, such as Ropsten, are updated to examine the variations. The primary Constantinople developments were implemented to examine networks before the adjournment and need a 2nd network upgrade to modify the initial Constantinople developments. This is called St. Petersburg and it transpires on the same block number as Constantinople.
The following EIP was expelled from test networks utilizing the St. Petersburg network upgrade:
EIP 1283: Net gas metering for SSTORE without dirty maps
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