February 5, 2023

Ethereum network hosts Istanbul hard fork

The planned Istanbul hard fork on the Ethereum network has officially taken place. The update occurred in on block # 9069000 at 00:25:09 GMT on Sunday, December 8th.

The block on which the hard fork took place found the Chinese mining pool SparkPool.

The completed upgrade is designed to providecompatibility of Ethereum with Zcash cryptocurrency, will increase the scalability of solutions based on zero-disclosure proof technology (SNARKs and STARKs), change the cost of gas of various operating codes (opcodes) in order to complicate spam blocks and increase the network's resistance to DoS attacks.

As previously reported, most Parity and Geth clients were still not ready for this massive upgrade.

At the time of the update, the overall availability of the network was slightly less than 50%.

Ethereum network hosts Istanbul hard fork

Eighth Ethereum hard fork is another step towards the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm

Included in Istanbul EIP’s

EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) -suggestions for improving the Ethereum protocol, which are submitted for discussion by developers before each hard fork. In preparation for Istanbul, six such proposals were approved:

EIP-152 - this proposal introduces a newA precompiled contract that implements the compression function F used in the Blake2 cryptographic algorithm. The goal is to create interoperability between the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) and Zcash or other cryptocurrencies based on the Equihash protocol.

EIP-1108 - aims to reduce precompiledthe cost of gas (fees for the implementation of smart contracts), which in turn will favorably affect the development of a number of solutions in the field of privacy and network scaling.

EIP-1344 - proposal for using the circuit ID forPreventing transaction replay attacks between different blockchains. Until now, there were no such clear specifications for setting the chain ID for a particular network, and everything was manually determined by the operators of the clients and communities of a particular network.

EIP-1884 - this proposal is aimed at increasingthe cost of gas for certain opcodes, which, against the backdrop of the rapid growth of the Ethereum network, began to consume more resources (CPU, memory, etc.). According to the developers, in this way it will be possible to achieve a better balance between gas consumption and resource consumption.

EIP-2028 - the proposal is aimed at reducing the costgas when calling on-chain data from the current 68 units per byte to 16 units. This will increase network bandwidth, as more data can be placed in one block.

IP-2200 - offers a structured definitionchanges in gas metering for the SSTORE opcode. This will create additional opportunities for using contract storage systems, reducing unnecessary fees.

The second part of the upgrade (Berlin) is expectedwill happen before the end of June 2020. It should include proposals that require more time for testing, for example, EIP-1057, a considerable controversy - a modified ProgPoW mining algorithm aimed at reducing the influence of ASIC devices.

Ultimately, as the developers hope, byBy completing both parts of the upgrade, the Ethereum network will become faster, cheaper, and more scalable. They expect all this to be achieved without compromising the decentralization and flexibility of the network.