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12 December 2019

Istanbul to Berlin: Ethereum Milestones on the Road to Serenity

Istanbul to Berlin: Ethereum Milestones on the Road to Serenity


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The current goal that the Ethereum developer community is pursuing is an advanced version of the network called Ethereum 2.0, Eth2 or Serenity.

A single release can be enacted by the means of one or several hard forks — makeovers of the blockchain protocol that mark a complete departure from its old version. .

Subsequent hard forks, Berlin (tentatively scheduled for June 2020) and London, will mark the advent of the fourth release, Ethereum 2.0, or, Serenity.

Hard forks enact changes to the currently operational Ethereum mainnet.

One is that the change will enhance development of privacy-focused applications that use this type of cryptography. .

EIP-1344 adds an opcode that returns the current chain’s unique identifier, introducing a way for contracts to track the Ethereum chain they’re on.

Hudson Jameson, Ethereum Foundation’s community liaison, responded that there is a “precedent set that OPCODE prices can and will change so your contracts should not rely on the assumption that they will not change,” adding that the transition would leave people better prepared for the more drastic changes that are imminent.

Another high-profile proposal that the Ethereum community considered in the buildup to the Istanbul hard fork isEIP-1057, which seeks to replace the current Ethash mining algorithm with a new proof-of-work function called ProgPoW, short for Programmatic Proof-of-Work.

This measure is designed to restore some degree of decentralization to mining power distribution while leveling the field by making Ethereum mining more attractive to individual users and small enterprises not invested in specialized hardware

Although there seems to be agreement among the core developers with regard to desirability of ProgPoW, not everyone in the community is happy about the prospect of the mining algorithm changing before the switch to proof-of-stake in Ethereum 2.0. 

Despite some tension, there is no indication that a critical mass of Ethereum users is bitterly opposed to the proposed change, rendering it unlikely that the development will lead to a serious rift. 

Should the independent audit attest to the robustness of the new algorithm, it will likely be enforced with the Berlin hard fork, now tentatively scheduled for June 2020, as Ethereum continues its march toward the coveted 2.0 version of the network..

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