The developers are watching January 16 as the date when it could launch Constantinople, the upcoming fork of the ethereum network.
The update for the second largest blockchain in the world was initially addressed in November, bringing with it a series of design changes aimed at simplifying the platform code in an attempt to improve performance. However, the November launch window was eventually due to unforeseen problems with the release of the test, which required a longer development period.
While the date of January 16th was reached through a non-binding verbal agreement, it is neither fixed nor definitive. In fact, Friday's showcase developers have said that Constantinople could be postponed further in case of further problems.
"We can only say in mid-January, it makes no difference whether we decide on an appointment or not, we can always postpone," noted Péter Szilágyi, principal developer.
Also during the call, the developer Lane Rettig has shared research on the so-called "bomb of difficulty" of ethereum. The difficulty bomb is an algorithm embedded in the ethereum code that makes blocks increasingly difficult to use, and has been put in place to act as an incentive to encourage regular updates to the network.
According to Rettig, the difficulty bomb will be visible from January, leading to 30 seconds of blocking by April or May of next year.
"So we have time, there are no critical concerns," said Rettig.
Constantinople delays the bomb of difficulty for another 18 months, while the reward from etereum from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block also decreases. In addition, the update offers various optimizations to the underlying ethereum code.
If ProgPoW – a change that would standardize the extraction of ethereum only for generic hardware, blocking specialized ASIC miners – will be considered for the inclusion of Constantinople was not discussed during the call. However, developers have reported issues related to its implementation, stating that the formal specifications of the code are incomplete.
On this subject in particular, Szilágyi urged that updates of the Constantinople software that will implement the hard fork should be released by the end of the year.
"All customers should release a stable version with the block number fired before Christmas," said Szilágyi.
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