After several delays, core developers of the Ethereum blockchain have managed to successfully implement the Constantinople hard fork.
In the initial phase of the first attempted upgrade, it was discovered that the Ropsten testnet had some issues that needed reconfiguring. Then a further delay was caused when blockchain analysis firm ChainSecurity discovered a potential problem in one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) that the upgrade included. It was found that a type of loophole known as a “reentrancy attack” could be created that would make it possible for hackers to steal funds.
As a result, the initial launch date had to be postponed until developers could rectify the issues. Finally, after removing the affected EIP from the release, developers were able to successfully launch Constantinople yesterday, February 28th.
Mining Rewards Reduced
The fork is the sixth time that the Ethereum blockchain has been upgraded and also includes a seventh upgrade called St. Peteresburg. Benefits of the upgrades include improved speed, efficiency and scalability. However, they come at a cost to miners. As with previous hard forks, the amount of Ether (ETH) rewarded to miners for successfully completing blocks has been reduced. Now, the Ethereum block reward is only two ETH, down from three.
GAS Cost Reduced
The amount of GAS required to pay for performing functions on the network will also be reduced in the new upgrade. Previously, the cost to perform a storage operation could cost a user as much as 5,000 GAS. This is now expected to reduce to as little as 200, making the network far more attractive to dApp developers.
According to data supplied by Ethernodes, 42.2 percent of Parity clients have installed the upgrade, with 24.4 percent of Geth clients upgraded.