The developers of Ethereum have confirmed that the two hard forks – Constantinople and St. Petersburg – are scheduled to take place this week. Constantinople was delayed last month for security vulnerability issues.
According to the February 22nd announcement, both the forks are set to be executed at Ethereum’s block number 7,280,000 and the developers are expecting that the block will be mined on February 28th. However, considering the unexpected mining scenarios, the set block can also be achieved a day or two before or after the scheduled date.
Hard Forks Explained
Constantinople is one of the much anticipated hard forks of Ethereum which was finalized by the developers during a bi-weekly meeting held on December 7, 2018. As Finance Magnates earlier explained, this fork will implement five different Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) which will permanently alter the blockchain with a host of new backward-incompatible upgrades.
This will force all Ethereum nodes to upgrade to the new software or run a completely separate blockchain based on the older version – a similar plan which resulted in the creation of Ethereum Classic after the DAO hack.
However, this upcoming hard fork will not change any services provided to end-users, as it’s mostly a “maintenance and optimization upgrade,” according to Ethereum developers. The fork will change the blockchain’s economic policy and fee structure, paving a simpler way towards its goal to be a highly scalable platform.
To mitigate any dispute created by the upgrade, major cryptocurrency exchanges including Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Huobi, and OKEx have already announced the support for the upcoming hard fork in January.
St. Petersburg, on the other hand, is meant to roll back a previous update – Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283 – from Ethereum’s test net.
Constantinople was previously scheduled to happen at block height 7,080,000 which was achieved on 17th January. However, a major vulnerability reported only a couple of days before the block execution forced Ethereum developers to halt the upgrade.
According to ChainSecurity, the vulnerability would enable reentrancy attacks on Ethereum’s blockchain using some specific commands through which an attacker can steel cryptocurrency from a smart contract by continuously requesting funds and providing false data about the existing ETH balance.
Earlier this month, Craig Write, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, bashed Ethereum for its scaling issues in a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).