As we start the last week in February, the crypto community are anticipating two hard forks from Ethereum this week. First of all, we have the Constantinople upgrade which was set to go live last month but due to vulnerability issues, Constantinople was forced to be postponed until this week. In addition to this, we have the St. Petersburg upgrade which is also set to go live later in the week.
According to the announcement on 22nd February, both of the hard forks are set to get executed at Ethereum’s block number 7,280,000 and the developers are expecting that the block will be mined on the 28th Feb. Nevertheless, considering the unexpected mining scenarios, the set block can also be achieved a day or two before or following the scheduled date.
Why the delay?
The delay for Constantinople was previously set to occur at block height 7,080,000 which was achieved on 17th January. But there was a big vulnerability reported just a couple of days before the block execution of the upgrade and so the developers at Etheruem were forced to delay to upgrade.
The Constantinople upgrade has been eagerly anticipated by the community which was finalised by the developers during a bi-weekly meeting held on 7th December 2018. The hard fork will implement five different Ethereum Improvement Proposals which will permanently change the blockchain with a batch of new backwards incompatible upgrades.
This will make Ethereum nodes to upgrade to new software or they could run a whole new separate blockchain based on the older version. A similar plan resulted in the creation of Ethereum Classic following the DAO hack.
Even so, according to the Ethereum developers, the upcoming hard fork won’t change any services provided to end-users because it is mostly “maintenance and optimization upgrade.” the upgrade will alter the blockchain's economic policy and fee structure and spearhead its way to a more scalable platform.
In an attempt to dimish any debates that the upgrade has created, some of the bigger cryptocurrency exchanges have announced that they will be supporting the hard fork. This includes Kraken, Coinbase, Huobi, OKEx and Coinbase.
When it comes to the St. Petersburg upgrade, this is meant to roll back to a previous update, Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283 from Ethereum’s test net.