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Ethereum Devs Confirm Hard Fork Delayed Until 2019

Christine Kim

Ethereum's next hard fork, dubbed Constantinople, will be postponed until early 2019, developers confirmed in a meeting Friday.

Initially targeted to activate in November this year, developers opted to postpone the hard fork push after several bugs were found in the code that was released on a test network. Now aiming for sometime in late January or February, developers on the call Friday agreed that moving ahead with the hard fork next month would be unwise.

Speaking to this during the live-streamed meeting, developer Afri Schoeden remarked:

"I keep getting the feeling that we're trying to rush this and I would second that we should breathe and see what happens."

Constantinople features five backward-incompatible changes to the network, from minor code optimizations to more controversial changes like one that would reduce the amount of new ETH created with each transaction block.

The delay could have implications for other proposed changes as well. Martin Holste Swende, security lead at the Ethereum Foundation, said there could be time then to add code for another proposal, dubbed "ProgPow," into Constantinople.

ProgPow is aimed at shoring up ethereum's resistance to the specialized mining hardware, which many think could price out smaller mining operations that use GPUs to mine – and could trigger some centralizing effects.

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if we do decide that Constantinople isn't until January or February, then I would probably try to push for including ProgPoW into Constantinople," Swende said.

ProgPoW was discussed in earlier core developer meetings but it was decided that the code couldn't be rushed into Constantinople and instead – if it was met with consensus – be added to ethereum by way of another hard fork shortly after Constantinople.

Still, Hudson Jameson, the communications officer for the Ethereum Foundation, said Friday that developers already had a lot to do to prepare the network for the mainnet – or live blockchain – release of Constantinople.

Highlighting one of these items, he said: "We need to coordinate more with miners on when we switch over hash power and that also includes mainnet."

Airport delay image via Shutterstock

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