Ethereum’s Constantinople Fork Gets New Date

A new timeframe has been set to upgrade the much-awaited Ethereum Constantinople fork which was called off in the last minute of its previous schedule – block 7,080,000 on Jan. 16 – due to an identified security flaw. After the Ethereum Core Devs Meeting #53 on Jan. 18, it was agreed that it will now hold in the next six weeks – or about 42 days – as that would afford them enough time to update and test the code. The timeframe is expected to give every client on the network the chance to change the code, allow testnets to fork before the mainnet fork and avoid the potential of a contentious fork.

Based on Vitalik Buterin‘s suggestion and a simulation of the latest block numbers, they agreed to make the upgrade between blocks 7,280,000 and 7,290,000 which narrows down the new date to fall between Feb. 26 and 28. They could not fix a specific date because of the bomb because as the network hash rate changes so is the speed of the bomb.

The postponement raised questions as to why a bug could be found so close to the implementation considering that the upgrade is reportedly coming two years after its original date. Also, prior to the cancellation, devs like Sergio Demian Lerner claim they have had indications that some contracts would break on the EIP 1283 – which proposes net gas metering changes to enable new usages for contract storage and to reduce excessive gas costs. He tweeted that the Ethereum devs were expected to have discovered it earlier but they didn’t until a reassessment of the risk was done close to the hard fork date hence the late postponement.

At @Coinspect we discussed a months ago the "vulnerability" that today blocked Ethereum hard-fork. We knew that some contracts would break on EIP1283. In fact we had created an example contract that was vulnerable. We thought this was evident and well-known, https://t.co/HDWiEVXshm

— Sergio Demian Lerner 'not giving away Eth' (@SDLerner) January 16, 2019

Before their meeting, it was reported that the Ethereum network experienced a chain-split on Jan. 17 just as the planned upgrade was called off. This left more than 10% of miners on Constantinople despite it has been postponed. It was not immediately clear that the split was accidental or intentionally done by the miners to keep the chain going or it was due to the information flow across continents and languages. However, the situation is expected to be resolved after some hours with a caution to avoid unnecessary transactions.

While critics believe the new timeframe may still not hold, some members of the community believe the stability and progress of the protocol are hinged on the new date.

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