If there is any other cryptocurrency that has evolved much like Bitcoin and makes headlines on its scale that is Ethereum. Recently, the completion of Istanbul hard fork of Ethereum made news. The massive and system wide upgrade is actually the network’s third to take place in 2019 and it took place at block number 9,069,000. It is aimed at giving the crypto network enhanced interoperability, security as well as scalability. It was preceded by Constantinople and St. Petersburg hard forks. Now that this months-long process has culminated, it is time to analyze its various nuances in detail.

The basics- what it has brought

Istanbul is another incarnation of Ethereum 1.x and it is the eighth hard fork of the network. The network’s next major move to PoS, is slated for 2021. Owing to its non-contentious nature, all the ethereum clients- responsible for hosting and enhancing the ethereum protocol independently- have given nod for deployment of the new software. Istanbul includes six of the EIPs or Ethereum Improvement Proposals. As per the information obtained from ConsenSys, an ethereum venture studio, the major aspects covered by these six EIPs are:

  • Gas costs
  • Interoperability with zcash and such equihash-based PoW cryptocurrencies
  • DDoS attack resilience

The cost incurred to send a transaction using the ethereum network is termed as gas and it is paid using gwei- the fractions of ETH. The reduced gas costs made possible by Istanbul’s EIPs will ensure more bandwidth on the blockchain. It will also promote the zero-knowledge privacy technologies. There were 11 proposed EIPs in total and six were finally chosen for deployment.

The questions raised by the industry insiders

While the rollout and deployment of Istanbul has received widespread support and positive feedback from the ethereum endorsing entities, a few questions still linger. Whenever any change is introduced in operation of a major crypto currency- some side effects are bound to be there. Istanbul will also have a few!

As per the reports, more than 650 smart contracts running on a governance platform called Aragon will get broken by this hard fork. Certain code changes are going to alter the way funds are sent between a number of decentralized autonomous organizations.  As a result, the users will have to migrate the smart contracts manually. Jorge Izquierdo, the Aragon One CTO said backwards compatibility issues should be analyzed before planning a fork on a platform like Ethereum.

Another concern is that Ethereum’s price action has been correlating with that of Bitcoin’s during the last few weeks. This has led to ETH’s price dropping to lower-$150 segment and support level has gone up. The Istanbul hard fork has coincided with the crypto’s ongoing downtrend. So, the investors do not sound very optimistic as sellers retain control of the coin.

The upwards momentum of Ethereum still away

Despite the deployment of Istanbul Hard Fork Experts do not think Ethereum will witness significant upwards surge in pricing. A slight rise over the current price is expected. However, things have improved compared to the all time low that the crypto currency witnessed in late-November.

How Istanbul rollout affects the end users?

Now, this is what most people using the cryptocurrency are concerned about!

The official Ethereum release indicates people transacting the coin using hardware and mobile wallets and storing on cryptocurrency exchange, can relax. However, the services they use to deal with Ethereum may issue specific instructions and they must adhere to those guidelines in near future. The Node runners and miners however, need to update their applications to the newest version to stay in sync with the updated version.

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