Core developers on the Ethereum network have finally reached an agreement on the important changes to be made on the mainnet, for the forthcoming Istanbul upgrade. They have agreed that the upcoming hardfork will have six code changes.
It was already previously announced that the Istanbul hard fork would be completed in two parts. The first is expected to be carried out latest by the end of October this year and will feature all the changes – professionally called Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). The 14th of August was initially set as the expected date for the testnet activation of Istanbul but according to Péter Szilágyi, one of the core developers, it was postponed earlier so developers could finally conclude on which EIPs exactly would be implemented for the first part of Istanbul.
The second phase of the Istanbul activation would not take place until sometime in the first quarter of 2020. This is because the EIPs for this phase would require a lot more testing and decision making from the core developers. According to Szilágyi:
“We split Istanbul into two. One of them we can actually ship within weeks.[For the other, there are] two really big EIPs that would be nice to have but require some stuff that cannot be done within the two or three-week timespan.”
When implemented in October, the first phase would count as Ethereum’s eighth hard fork since inception. It is expected to boost security and also improve interoperability on the network.
Hudson Jameson, Community Manager for the Ethereum Foundation, has also spoken on the need for a testnet release before the mainnet.
“The security and stability of the network are primary concerns when it comes to doing hard fork on mainnet so the testnet release is a vital step in making sure that mainnet release goes smoothly.”
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