The Istanbul Upgrade is a planned change to the Ethereum blockchain, which will focus on storage, code, execution, and its mining protocol. This planned upgrade will mainly focus on the Progressive Proof of Work. It will be dependent on a successful security audit by two independent parties, who must confirm there are no technical issues.
Moving Ahead with the Upgrade
Core developers of the Ethereum blockchain held a vote on March 15 and they agreed to move ahead with the changes by a 94% vote. This will ensure there is less of an efficiency gap between ASIC miners and GPU miners.
Origins of the Upgrade
Development of the Ethereum blockchain was well mapped out before it launched. The core developers foresaw various issues that might arise and created a roadmap for future improvements. An upgrade called the Constantinople upgrade was the first to occur. With this upgrade, the developers hope to move ahead to Ethereum 2.0.
The Aim of the Upgrade – Ethereum Mining
This upgrade will focus on the ProgPOW algorithm. The main issue with the Proof of Work mechanism is that it consumes a lot of power. Besides that, it leaves the network vulnerable to a 51% attack. For years, the Ethereum community has been calling for a move to the proof of stake mechanism. With a PoS algorithm, the creator of a new bock will be picked deterministically, depending on the coins one holds.
Many reports indicate that the hash rate is concentrated in the hands of a few companies, most of which are based in China. By relying less on computing power, the PoS mechanism will be fairer for the mining community as well as being environmentally cleaner.
However, moving to PoS will take time. It is the reason the core developers agreed on the ProgPow, as a transitional phase. This Istanbul Upgrade will be the final step before Ethereum heads into Serenity, also called Ethereum 2.0.
The Changes Expected
The core developers agreed to six changes during the Istanbul upgrade, which will launch on October 2019. It is expected that after the upgrade, the advantage that ASIC miners have compared to GPU miners will drop to 1.2x from the current 2x. In short, it is going to reduce the control that ASIC miners have over the blockchain. Work on the Serenity upgrade is going to start immediately after the Istanbul upgrade goes live.
About the Serenity Upgrade
The Serenity upgrade will occur after the Istanbul upgrade. This is most likely going to happen in 2020. Ethereum 2.0 will be a new blockchain, which will have a new native token. The core developers will offer users of Ethereum numerous options to switch from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0.
This move to Ethereum 2.0 is not expected to be easy. However, it will bring about more security and scalability to the Ethereum ecosystem. In the end, it will ensure that Ethereum remains competitive. The Istanbul upgrade is going to make it possible for the existing blockchain to run alongside the Serenity upgrade as well as make it possible for existing users to move to Serenity.
Ethereum price was showing strong upward momentum in the beginning of the month when it eventually rallied to $220 levels. Since Mid September, the eth to usd has fallen sharply – currently trading at $169. Eth is flirting with the 100 day moving average right now. Essentially you would like to see Ethereum get back above the 100 day moving average before building the bull case. As we mentioned in a recent market report, eth price has slowly been gaining on BTC post Bitcoin sell-offs. If we take a look at the last 30 days, we can see that Bitcoin has dropped -20.73% and Ethereum has dropped only -8.50%.
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