Ethereum Istanbul Launches


Jul 2, 2019
After years of updates in a bid to solve the ever encroaching issue of scalability on the blockchain, Ethereum Istanbul launches. Ethereum is planning to overcome its scalability issue by implementing the Istanbul hard fork (today!), and then Serenity sometime next year. Serenity will see the launch of Ethereum 2.0, which will run on a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm rather than the Proof-of-Work algorithm that Ethereum has been battling with since its inception.

A little about Ethereum

Ethereum (ETH) was first proposed by Vitalik Buterin in 2013, but the ecosystem didn’t go live until 30 July 2015, with 72 million ETH already premined. Ethereum is an open-source blockchain network, which is home to a large number of decentralized applications (dApps). Ethereum was the first platform to implement smart contracts, and is still the number one choice for dApp developers.

Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency according to market cap at the time of writing.

The Istanbul Hard Fork

Istanbul is here, and it’s the last in a series of updates to the Ethereum network that began in 2015 with Frontier. Since then we’ve seen Homestead in 2016, Byzantium in 2017, and Constantinople in 2019. Now, we’ve got Istanbul - which will be the final iteration in these updates before Serenity.

The Istanbul hard fork is a network-wide upgrade that will make changes to the Ethereum blockchain’s mining protocol, code execution, and data storage process. The changes to the network will hopefully bring it closer to achieving a blockchain that is more suitable to the needs of dApp developers who are building on the network.

The Istanbul hard fork is comprised of a number of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPS), including the ProgPOW consensus. This will help to balance forces on the network.

Péter Szilágyi, Istanbul’s core developer, spoke to Coindesk in August, “We split Istanbul into two. One of them we can actually ship within weeks. [The other contains] two really big EIPs that would be nice to have but require some stuff that cannot be done within the two- or three-week timespan.”

What’s next?

Following the Istanbul hard fork, we’ll see a move to Ethereum 2.0 Serenity sometime in 2020. The Beacon Chain will use a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm, consolidating the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain. Ethereum 2.0 will run parallel to Ethereum 1.0, and users will not feel the switch, with everything remaining business as usual with the ETH token.

The future of Ethereum

Ethereum Istanbul launches, and it heralds the arrival of the future of one of the top crypto networks. Without a doubt, one of the most exciting things about this update is the fact that we’re getting closer to Ethereum 2.0. With improved scalability, and faster and cheaper transactions, Istanbul is making way for the Ethereum we’ve all been rooting for. Did you know you can trade Ethereum on Vertex.Market? A P2P trading platform that connects buyers and sellers from around the world, and requires no KYC! Get trading today.