Ethereum : Constantinople Hard Fork Discussion

Ethereum update: Constantinople Hard Fork Discussion

##**Constantinople is planned upcoming hard fork of Ethereum main net, believed to roll out [Q4 this year] (, although no timeline has officially been given.**

Majority of EIPs planned to be included in Constantinople have strong support among devs and community, however there are three contentious propositions that need to be discussed. Those are: 1) **Difficulty Bomb delay**, 2) **Ether issuance reduction**, and 3) **ASIC resistance**.

**As with every problem there are many points of view and issues, but for quick gist of it here is short summary:** Difficulty Bomb will soon take effect, gradually prolonging block time until Ethereum will virtually come to a halt. To secure block time of 15 s, delaying Difficulty Bomb is proposed, as has already been done in Byzantium hard fork. However delaying Difficulty Bomb would greatly affect Ether issuance. Therefore block mining reward reduction has been proposed (from 3 to 2, 1 or 0.5 Ether). But issuance reduction decreases mining profitability, cutting out smaller miners and favoring ASIC, resulting in centralization and lesser network security. To mitigate this issue ASIC resistance has been proposed to eliminate mining cartels.


##**Here is list of previous discussions around mentioned issues:**

**1) Difficulty Bomb:**

* [Function of Difficulty Bomb] ( is to make mining impossible and force transition from POW to POS. If Difficulty Bomb is not delayed Ethereum will come to a halt before Casper is ready for deployment.

* Although general sentiment is in favor to delay Difficulty Bomb, there is also proposition for its [elimination] (

* Question remains how far into the future push Difficulty Bomb?

**2) Issuance reduction:**

* Prior POS was delayed Vitalik Buterin calculated projected circulation supply to [less than 96,000,000 Ether] ( by November 2018. Because of POS delay, Difficulty Bomb was postponed with Byzantium hard fork resulting in circulation supply of over 101,000,000 Ether as of today.

* Eric Conner compares Bitcoin and Ethereum issuance and points out Ethereum is currently overpaying network security compared to Bitcoin. A reduction in [block reward to 2 ETH] ( is proposed, however further [reduction to 1 ETH] ( is not advised as per his analysis
* Proposition and debate on block reward [reduction to 1 ETH] ( (also discussion on ASIC resistance)
* Albeit small sample, [coin voters] ( are in favor of reduction to 1 ETH.

**3) ASIC resistance**

* Great [discussion overview about ASIC resistance] ( by Hudson Jameson. General consensus at the time was in favor of ASIC resistance. But prevailing sentiment among devs was to ignore ASIC issue, as Casper release was scheduled just few months away, making ASIC irrelevant. Unfortunately, just few weeks after this discussion it came to light that Casper is delayed to year 2020.

* How much ASIC mining is presented in Ethereum is currently unknown. [Monero hash rate] ( dropped by 80% after implementation of ASIC resistance.


##**What to do?**
Voice your opinion! Read, research and participate in discussion! Devs are in final stages of selecting EIPs for Constantinople hard fork. Next Devs Call is on 24th of August.


##**Full disclosure**
I am strongly against eliminating Difficulty Bomb, however I am in favor of delaying it to no later than 30th July 2019. I also think Ethereum is overpaying network security, therefore I support block reward reduction to 1 ETH coupled with implementation of ASIC resistance. If ASIC resistance is rejected, I would like to see community discuss block reward reduction to 1.5 or 2 ETH with block time of 30s.

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About Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.

Author: svarov

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