The Ethereum development team streamed a live meeting recently. In it, they talked about a hard fork on the Ethereum blockchain. A hard fork is a drastic change in the platform’s protocol. This hard fork named ‘Constantinople’ is a step to get closer to moving Ethereum from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a proof-of-stake model (PoS).
The meeting happened on 31st August and did not involve Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. Proof-of-stake models will affect mineable coins. This is known as a “difficulty bomb” which the dev team decided to delay for another year. Till then ETH will still be mineable as usual including ASIC cards. The difficulty bomb will act as a deterrent for miners who choose to continue using PoW, after Ethereum shifts to PoS with speculations signaling early next year.
After the implementation, mining will stay but the rewards will be less. The hard fork will reduce the block ETH value from 3 to 1, a reduction of 33%. This is in line with a PoS model where mining is not used to maintain the cryptographic integrity of the ledger.
YouTube commentators viewed the move as a way to reduce block rewards and push ETH’s market price. Also on Twitter, some see it as a move to drive up the ETH price.
There is no announced date for Constantinople to take effect, but there is another meeting scheduled in two weeks, in which more information should be made available.
The ETH price is depressed as miners have to sell it to cover mining costs. As of now, Ethereum trades for about $284, a drop from $411 which was the price in early August. There are Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) made that include proposals to reduce rewards, bitwise shifting instructions in EVM, simpler blockhash refactoring and others. You can read about the EIPs on GitHub.
For more details, you can view the streamed YouTube video.