The developers of Ethereum have finally approved six codebase modifications (also known as Ethereum Improvement Proposals or EIP) for the backward-incompatible Istanbul hard fork. Istanbul Hard Fork will be activated in two different stages- the first stage will be implementing six EIPs, and the second phase will be implementing two major EIPs, which will happen in Q1 2020. As per the recent news, the testnet activation for Istanbul hard fork has been pushed to October 2nd, 2019 as the decision for the EIPs are under review.
The Core Developer of the Istanbul upgrade project, Peter Szilagyi on the two-part Istanbul structure:
The first stage will be the eighth hard fork for Ethereum blockchain after the Constantinople hard fork, and the third upgrade in the Metropolis Version 1.3. Initially, the original date in the Ropsten testnet was August 14, but it got pushed as the developers needed time to finalize the EIPs. The major Ethereum clients Geth and Parity have only one week to integrate six EIPs (discussed below) and prepared to implement the new code in a testnet.
As of now, September 4, 2019, has been considered by the core developer, Peter Szilagyi, which he thinks might get postponed once more and the ETH mainnet execution can happen in October. The other developers agreed that the block number and the targeted activation date could be determined in the next week in a meeting as per Istanbul hard fork news. The activation of the first phase will be the last important milestone before the activation of the mainnet.
You can refer here for the updates in the six EIPs to be decided, as they keep on getting withdrawn and updated as per the developers.
Two months back, the developers agreed on two EIPs out of thirty- EIP 2024 and EIP 1702:
This stage is focused on increasing the compatibility of the Ethereum blockchain with the Zcash network, which will enhance the platform’s chain interoperability with the privacy coin. It is aimed at securing the network from replay attacks (duplicate transaction attacks), which will increase efficiency.
Like any other ETH hard fork with the Istanbul hard fork update, the miners must upgrade simultaneously causing a chain split in the network.
The second stage will be the last hard fork before its transition to Version 2.0. This is scheduled for mainnet activation and will feature two big EIPs, which require much detailed testing and deliberation from the developers.
To Be Decided. The tentatively decided EIPs are mentioned here.
They are going to include Programmable Proof of Work (ProgPoW), a new kind of mining algorithm designed to close the efficiency gap available to the specialized ASICs.
Hudson Jameson, Ethereum Foundation Community Manager, said:
Finally, the eighth hard fork of Ethereum, i.e, Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork is live, where three main changes have been improvised:
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