Ethereum has had the week from hell. Despite solid fundamentals and a growing decentralized finance ecosystem, the world’s second largest crypto asset has dumped 20% since Monday. A major upgrade is imminent for the ETH network but can it revive prices?
Ethereum Istanbul Imminent
The eighth hard fork for the Ethereum blockchain is upon us and will occur in two weeks’ time around December 6 according to the Istanbul countdown. The fixed block number for the transition is 9069000 and the network upgrade is one of many on the path to Serenity, or ETH 2.0.
ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin posted an update detailing the changes taking place on the network.
The #Ethereum Istanbul network upgrade is just around the corner!
With 6 new EIPs being implemented, this fork will align opcode computational costs, make layer 2 solutions using SNARKs and STARKs more performant, enable zCash interoperability, and more.https://t.co/nQUvZP8mG8 pic.twitter.com/yS3IaMbr8P
— Joseph Lubin (@ethereumJoseph) November 22, 2019
There will be six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) implemented to improve security, interoperability and reduce network costs.
The first, EIP-152, allows easier interoperability between Ethereum and Zcash in addition to other Equihash-based proof of work tokens. This is achieved by implementing the Blake2 hash function. EIP-1108 is involved with precompiling gas costs which will assist a number of privacy solutions and scaling solutions.
EIP-1344 is a security improvement which uses the chain ID to prevent replay attacks between different chains while EIP-1844 reprices certain opcodes, or instruction sets on the Ethereum Virtual Machins, to obtain a good balance between gas expenditure and resource consumption.
Gas costs for calling on-chain data are reduced with EIP-2028. This will have the effect of increasing the bandwidth as more data can fit into each single block. Finally, EIP-2200 also deals with gas costs by providing a structured definition of net gas metering changes for contract storage.
Ethereum holders will not be affected but exchanges and third part wallets may require some additional action according to the article.
There will be further hard forks after Istanbul in the run up to Serenity which will begin with the rollout of Beacon Chain. This is a Proof of Stake blockchain which marks the execution of the long-planned switched from PoW to PoS consensus mechanism. The roadmap has been simplified in this video.
ETH Price Update
It has been hoped that these long awaited network upgrades will bring more security, stability and scalability to the Ethereum blockchain. It is also hoped that ETH prices will get a much needed boost as they’re currently down in the doldrums and have been for much of the past year.
Since this time last week ETH has followed its big brother into the digital abyss and dumped 20%. It dumped to a seven month low of $140 overnight but has recovered slightly to return to support at $150 at the time of writing.
Since Ethereum has failed to decouple from Bitcoin any further losses could see the token plunge down to $135 before any attempt at recovery is made. Fundamentally though things are looking good with upgrades rolling out and a growing DeFi ecosystem at a time when decentralized banking is in great need.
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