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It was first announce way back in February when Ethereum released their roadmap for 2017, and I’ll be honest, after the multiple delays I didn’t let myself get too excited for it until now. Yes, it seems Ethereum is nearly ready for their hard fork update Metropolis.
For those of you who are new to crypto and you’re not quite sure why they would plan a hard fork, let me explain what the Metropolis update has in store for Ethereum and what affect it can have on its future.
Metropolis is the third of four of Ethereum’s major updates, the first was called Frontier, we are currently in the homestead release, next is metropolis and the last is Serenity.
These are updates that have been planned from the beginning as a way to continue growth and improvement of Ethereum.
So this new release called Metropolis will come in two waves, the first titled Byzantium, and the second is Constantinople. Here’s what you can expect with the first phase of metropolis, the byzantium phase:
* Increased security for lite client wallets,
* zkSNARKS will bring improvements to transaction privacy through anonymity.
* More predictable gas charges
Now the big change that metropolis is set to unveil is the change from proof of work consensus to proof of stake consensus. We can expect this change to occur during the Constantinople release. In order to ensure that this hardfork will not result in yet another chain split, they are going to implement a difficulty bomb. This will effectively make it increasingly difficult to mine ethereum, thus forcing the switch. For those who wish that Ethereum would remain using proof-of-work consensus, let me take this time to remind you that there is still ethereum classic.
Although I’d love to give you an exact date for when this will take place, the best I can do based on my research is that it will happen anywhere from the last week of September to the first week of October, that is unless something else comes up that causes one more delay.They are just now beginning to test this fork on their test network in order to screen for any bugs or mishaps and to ensure a better experience for users once it’s released to the main network
Many are speculating that the recent rise in price for Ethereum has to do with the anticipation of this new release. Updates are commonly followed by a rise in price, and I think this will be the case for the Byzantium phase of Metropolis. However, keep an eye out for the Constantinople phase as this is where we will be seeing the repercussions of the difficulty bomb and the reduced block rewards for miners.