Finally, the developers managed to hold a successful hardfork Constantinople on the Ethereum network. As it was announced in advance, the update took place on February 28 at the block 7,280,000. The procedure was carried out without any complications, although experts allow detection of vulnerabilities in the future.
It was expected that the fork Constantinople will be held in October 2018. However, global problems were identified, and the developers moved it to January. But even then it was not possible to launch the update without problems. To cope with them, a “patch” was developed - St. Petersburg.
The contract self-destruct function revealed during testing provided hackers with the opportunity to steal tokens. They could do this through the process of replaying transactions.
As a result of the discovery of this vulnerability, developers had to postpone the date from January 16 to February 27. However, due to the launch of a complexity bomb, the cryptocurrency emission slowed down. Therefore, hardfork Constantinople and St. Petersburg was activated only on February 28.
According to experts, the fork was supported by 22.1% of the total number of network users, installing updated software. That was enough for the process to go without complications.
When preparing hardfork developers put several tasks at once. One of the most important is to improve the efficiency of the virtual machine when working with smart contracts. This greatly expands the developer’s tool and provides them with new features.
A virtual machine is a software complex that imitates the operation of computer systems in a virtual space. In the Ethereum blockchain, it is decentralized and designed to manage smart contacts.
In addition, the upgrade was another step to increase mining decentralization. The remuneration for the unit is reduced to two ETHs, while it was possible to disable the previously launched “complexity bomb”. It is expected that thanks to this, it will take no more than 15 seconds to receive one block.
After the current hardfork, the blockchain has to go through another update - Serenity. It is the final phase in the transition to the Ethereum 2.0 project. It will be based on the algorithm Proof-of-Work. This will make the system as stable as possible, and with a full evidence-based mechanism.
According to the developers, the project will enter the final phase in the summer of 2019. As a result, the confirmation of the transaction will take no more than 10 seconds, and the number of operations on the network in one second will increase from 14 to 14,000.