The Ethereum network enthusiasts have been waiting for upgrades for a long time and look like this week they will have not just one but two network upgrades, dubbed as Constantinople and St. Petersburg.
As per an official Ethereum blog post on Feb. 22, the updates are scheduled at Ethereum’s block 7,280,000, which is expected to be mined on Feb. 28. However, according to the announcement, the unpredictable nature of mining might push the implementation to happen one or two days before or after the scheduled date.
The post further elaborates that the two separate upgrades that have now been combined into one event. Constantinople upgrade has been postponed in January due to a newly discovered security vulnerability. The upgrade will bring the platform multiple improvements along with delaying the so-called “difficulty bomb” and the decrease of Ethereum’s block reward.
A feature meant to prevent miners, the difficulty bomb will continue their activity on the chain after Ethereum’s switch to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. However, since PoS implementation has been postponed quite repeatedly, Ethereum developers had to delay the difficulty bomb to “make sure we don’t freeze the blockchain before proof of stake is ready & implemented.”
It is thus, the Constantinople upgrade is set to delay the difficulty bomb, for what is referred to as the “ice age” for approximately 12 months. The Constantinople will also feature the so-called “thirdening”: a reduction of the reward for every miner block from 3 to 2 ETH, in order to compensate for the easier mining process.
As for the other network update, St. Petersburg would purportedly delete a previous update, Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283, from Ethereum’s test networks.
In January, Coinbase, and Kraken two major cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States pledged their support for Ethereum’s upgrade. Later, the duo was joined by Binance, Huobi, and OKEx in who will aid in monitoring the event before its first implementation attempt.