Ethereum network has announced not just a single upgrade but a simultaneous double-upgrade by February 28, 2019: Constantinople and St.Petersburg. The first one is actually a re-scheduled upgrade that was slated for an earlier date but failed to be implemented. This new implementation, a double protocol upgrade will be executed in the same block number and is expected to fix issues on Ethereum test networks.
Network upgrades are critical for decentralized asset performance, its’ security and many other issues, as developers state. The bottom line for such upgrades is consensus-based implementation.
According to developers of Ethereum, in case of double-update the network will be adjusted to “new rules set to improve the system”. Nonetheless, “the decentralized nature of blockchain system makes a network upgrade more difficult.”
Based on consensus which favors community, developers are introducing changes to the protocol written for Harmony or Parity or both. These changes will be activated on a specific block number.
What if somebody chooses to avoid the upgrade?
Considering that this could happen due to certain technical reasons or otherwise, the developers defined that client will sync to pre-network blockchain upgrade and render it incompatible with Ethereum network that is operational after the upgrade.
What will Constantinople bring along?
The main focus lies in offering the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs). As per the latest blog post, “EIPs describe standards for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol specifications, client APIs, and contract standards. The following EIPs will be implemented in Constantinople.”
Though upgrades are straightforward affairs, there were a few delays and reschedules which effect the Ethereum network. In the case here, upgrade tests changes are implemented much before the network upgrade itself. This led to a difficult situation and resulted in St.Petersburg upgrade.
According to the developers, “The original Constantinople changes, listed in this blog post, were applied to test networks before the postponement and require a 2nd network upgrade to reverse the original Constantinople changes. This is called St. Petersburg and it occurs on the same block number as Constantinople.”
Ethereum is perhaps one of the most popular networks and second only to Bitcoin in terms of adoption. However, the dApps network technology does have limitations in the form of ‘confidentiality’ which thus far affected its use in smart contracts. Now with industry and academia input, the Zether mechanism for privacy on Ethereum network is now built.