Ethereum’s next hard fork after Constantinople is Istanbul


At the end of this month, Ethereum is expected to fork long-delayed “Constantinople” hard fork upgrade. I believe that many friends should understand this delayed upgrade plan, for most market participants. The biggest impact is that the block reward for the Ethereum will be reduced by 1/3 (3ETH to 2ETH), and at the 55th video conference of the Ethereum Core developer, the developers said that the upgrade is expected to be very Smooth, of course, it is also predicted that this upgrade will be delayed due to the impact of CREATE2 .

But this is not the topic to be discussed in this article. The Ethereum creator wants to discuss the next hard fork upgrade of Ethereum.

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Ethereum founder Vitalik confirmed on Twitter that the next hard fork upgrade of Ethereum will use the name Istanbul. So what is the content of this upgrade worthy of our attention?

Let’s take a look at its preliminary estimated timeline and then talk about the upgrades that are currently known to be relevant:

2019-05-17 (Friday): This is the final confirmation time for the contents of the Istanbul upgrade proposal. Before this point, anyone can submit the proposal. As for whether it will be accepted, it depends on the developer community. The consensus.

2019-07-19 (Friday): This is the soft deadline for implementing the Istanbul compatibility for the major clients of Ethereum;

2019-08-14 (Wednesday): Estimated test network upgrade to Istanbul date;

October 16, 2019 (Wednesday): Estimated date of the hard fork upgrade of Istanbul on the main Ethereum network;

Friends who are concerned about the latest developer conference, will notice that some developers have talked about the EIP 1418 (state lease) proposal, which may also be the first upgrade proposal to be included in Istanbul hard fork (if not A similar state lease proposal will also be considered).

What is EIP 1418?

The title of this EIP is “Blockchain Storage Lease Payment”, which was proposed by William Entriken, which draws on the idea of blockchain state leasing.

William’s motivation for this EIP is this: The state of Ethereum is now very large, and if it continues to grow at its current rate, the Ethereum network will become extremely bloated. While we are underestimating the long-term cost of storage, storage costs can be modeled approximately as: byte*time, so it is necessary to make changes to the current Ethereum state design.

Economic background and constants

A ‘ STORE’ operation performed in 2015 cost 20,000 gas and survived about 6 million blocks. The price of gas has been around 1~50 Gwei ( 1ETH = 1,000,000,000 Gwei), so far, basically the cost of each word block is 4,000 Wei. Perhaps storing an account is 10 times denser than storing a word. But in reality, G_transaction is 21,000 Wei, and G_sstore is 20,000Wei, so they are similar, they all create new accounts/words.

There are three important concepts involved in the proposal:

* RENT_WORD_COST (lease cost, in Wei, pay per word-block) — 4,000 Wei

* RENT_ACCOUNT_COST — (lease cost, in Wei, pay for each account block (account-block)) 4,000 Wei

* RENT_STIPEND (the amount of rent, the unit is Wei, touch it to the account.) — 360 days of the 4,000 Wei * block

The rent is priced in Taico. It is not negotiated by the client, nor is it dynamic, but linear. Why is this a good idea? Because Ethereum is now a system with multiple free variables (Ether/gas price, gas/opcode cost, Ethereum/block reward). So the end result is that we can fix one of the values, so that’s it.

The way is to set the rent price of Ethereum and set the existing price of the gas according to the floating rate. The implied price in the Yellow Book is set to 4 Gwei.

Problems with this state leasing program

This proposal will have a 360-day transition period (related to RENT_STIPEND), which needs to be deployed by hard forks (Istanbul meets this condition). In addition, users need to accept science, which is not a simple task, because the concept itself is very complicated.

Alexey Akhunov, the first proposer of the state lease, also mentioned:

“Unfortunately, the way I see it, most contracts will need to be re-written, re-deployed, and re-filled with data. To me it is the choice – either contracts need to be changed, or platform has to die.”

 Obviously, state leasing can be a very large operation, and according to the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap, state leasing will also be deployed at Ethereum 2.0 (currently planned in Phase 2 ), but the mechanism will be There are different.

This technical solution is very important for the scalability and sustainability of Ethereum, but it also causes problems for users. Fortunately, there are still nearly three months from the deadline for the Istanbul upgrade proposal. Can developers and community participants smoothly enter the state leasing program into the Ethereum 1.0 main network, which is a promising development.

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About Author

Ethan Hunt

Bitcoin Maximalist and Toxic to our banking and monetary system. Separation of money and state is necessary just like the separation of religion and state in the past. Also, pro-local, pro-global and anti-national.

Disclaimer: All content found on is only for informational purposes and should not be considered as financial advice. Do your own research before making any investment. Use information at your own risk.

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