Ethereum Byzantium fork locked in, software upgrade influences the market

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Ethereum Byzantium fork locked in, software upgrade influences the market

At 05.22 UTC, October 16 saw locking of Ethereum Byzantium fork at block 4,370,000. Consequently, the price surged by about 6 percent for Ether.It is the fifth hard fork to occur on Ethereum. The software upgradation is aimed at enhancing the platform through a batch of Ethereum improvement protocols (EIPs).

About the Ethereum Byzantium fork

The hard fork was planned under the name Metropolis in the Ethereum roadmap, long back in 2015. But this large-scale software upgradation got somehow delayed.  Later, it segregated into two independent forms- Byzantium and Constantinople.

As per the developers, this Ethereum Byzantium fork is designed to make minimal contentious changes to the blockchain. It may be called a mere upgradation with the elimination of critical bugs.

The Executive Director of Columbia Blockchain Lab, Mohamed Abedelmalik spoke about the improvements expected from this hard fork.  He attributed the improved privacy, scalability and efficiency of the chain network to the integration of practical cryptographic system called ZK-SNARKs.

The performance’s status- from the developer’s desk

Hudson Jameson, the unofficial release manager for Byzanthium told CoinDesk that the software is running quite smoothly. He further adds that the credit stays with the around-the-clock “hard work of developers, users, and miners across the Ethereum ecosystem”.

The developers were actually in a race against time for the locki-in of this hard fork.The software had a number of critical bugs that the developers managed to rectify just in time. Else, the fork would have been postponed for another 48-72 hours.

To this last minute struggle with the hard fork, Gavin Wood, the Parity founder, and CTO says:

“There needs to be a more conservative approach to the specification, development, testing, and deployment for major protocol alterations like Byzantium… It should be ascertained to as great a degree as possible that all major implementations are in consensus before any determination of a hard fork block.”

However, the expectations from this hard fork are still high. Earlier, Bitcoin Core development teams Segregated Witness (SegWit) expanded Bitcoin’s blockchain technology through the elimination of wasteful information stored in the transactions. This time, Ethereum Byzantium fork is also expected to scale up the Ethereum network similar to SegWit.

For now, the software seems to be running quite smoothly, but the network is still on its adjustment period. Few blocks are being mined in less than a second while others are taking even a good 1 minute. The latter seems to be far longer than the average of 25 seconds.

Impact of Ethereum Byzantium fork on price

Hard forks have always been welcomed by the Ethereum community with a smile since it updates protocols efficiently. Historically, things have been good with the Ethereum hard fork. Nevertheless, the hard fork that gave rise to the competing cryptocurrency Ethereum classic is an exception. Post lock-in of the fork, the price of the Ether surpassed $340 and surged closed to monthly’s high $350.

While it’s still too early to declare the success of the Ethereum Byzantium fork, developers find the software to be running smoothly. However, the analysts still hold expectations from this hard fork regarding more improved platforms for developers and users as well.



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