Ethereum network saw the Byzantium hard fork go into effect on Monday. This movement initiated the very first phase of the most recent protocol upgrade for the platform. The result of the fork was some uncertainty, but mostly good hope for the future of the platform, which had been set up for an upgrade at least two years back.
The Metropolis Upgrade
Essentially, the Byzantium fork was activated due to necessities for the initiation of Metropolis, which is a protocol upgrade. Said protocol upgrade has been an objective for the better part of 2 years, having been planned in 2015, and launched only recently. The very first phase of the upgrade demanded a hard fork, which subsequently occurred, thereby setting in motion the upgrade process.
The Metropolis upgrade introduces the 9 Ethereum improvement protocols, which are designed for the improvement of the network’s own scalability, security and privacy. With the first phase of the upgrade, the network will be primed and ready to receive the next stage, which is codenamed Constantinople, has already been planned, but is yet to be put into effect.
The scale of the upgrade is what prolongs the actual process, with each phase requiring a major overhaul of the base framework and infrastructure, as well as drastic forks; one of which was experienced recently, and another that was experienced back in November of last year.
The initiation of the Byzantium fork actually marked the fifth occurrence of a major fork. The Ethereum value actually went up a total of 3000 percent since the aforementioned November 2016 fork. This latest fork however, put the market in a bigger and more consistent state of uncertainty, since the market cap could not be projected. The reason for this was the scale of the latest fork, and the overhaul of the system, which caused the major downfall I the first place.
The Developers’ Boon: Celebration for Byzantium Activation
While the market was uncertain, the developers behind the platform actively celebrated the launch of the Byzantium fork, since this translates into massive potential profitability in the future. 2018 has been decided as the year when Constantinople gets launched, and even though a specific date has not been set.
The developer community had to face considerable difficulties on the days before the fork occurred. The testers who were designated for the initial runs of the new software kept discovering bugs throughout the testing phase, which further increased the problems for the developers. The continual discovery of the bugs prompted calls for the postponement of the fork, with the reason being the number of flaws within the software itself.
An added fear was the potential continued mining on the former Blockchain. Such an occurrence could lead to a split of the Blockchain, thus allowing the creation of a new currency which would significantly shadow this one.
Fortunately, none of this occurred, and it all came to a head with the Byzantium fork. Developers are currently hopeful for a much smoother transition of the second phase, which will be initiated without many of the hassles that manifested during Byzantium.