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All you need to know about the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork coming January 16th

Let's take a look at what you need to know about the upcoming Ethereum hard fork and the planned changes the Constantinople upgrade will bring

The upcoming Constantinople hard fork is planned for the Ethereum network on January 16th, so let’s take a look at some of the key information regarding the upgrade to help you make sense of it all.

Credit goes to Reddit user u/cartercarlson for the information he pulled together in his recent Reddit post.

Transaction/confirmation time

The block time should stay at around 15 seconds (though it should be noted that full PoS may change that).

Cost of transactions

The cost depends on the quantity of transactions in the mempool (memory pool). Some future proposals plan to optimise smart contract interactions. In future, the cost of transacting with a smart contract will decrease. However, we don’t know if another dApp like Cryptokitties will show up, congesting the network and increasing fees.

Number of transactions per second

There will be the same average transactions per second, but the EIP-1024 proposal will optimise state channels. This should lead to some second-layer solutions coming into play (think OMiseGo, Loom Network, Raiden, and so on).

PoS instead of PoW?

We won’t be getting Proof of Stake instead of Proof of Work just yet, as there’s a lot of testing still going on with this. One of the reasons behind the EIP-1234 proposal is to reduce block rewards in order to delay the difficulty bomb. Eventually, the plan will involve moving to beacon chains and sharding chains.

Will there be a new crypto? Or just an upgrade?

This is a hard fork, so it will create a new ETH blockchain including the EIP implementations. However, this should not be a contentious hard fork, and we’re assuming miners will switch to the new chain. All of the current smart contracts on the current ETH blockchain will be replicated on the new chain.

The old ETH blockchain may hold some value while miners take their time to switch to mining the new chain. However, there will be no more planned updates for the first blockchain, which should eventually push the original ETH blockchain close to $0 – as per all recent forks (going back to ETC).

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