Ethereum Constantinople Hard fork: Explained

Elizabeth Wright
| Editor:
June 1, 2023
4 min read

Ethereum Constantinople and St.Petersburg hard forks are expected to be on 7,280,000 block height, on February 28. They will upgrade Ethereum codebase, reduce smart contracts execution cost and mining reward, will add off-chain transactions support and more.

What is Hard fork?

Hard fork is a codebase update. To resolve the blockchain issues or add improvements, you need to make the changes in the core code.
Usually, there are three main reasons for making a hard fork:

  • Some security risks found in the previous version (i.e. that’s why Constantinople hard fork has been postponed).
  • You need to add new functionality to the blockchain.
  • In some cases, you can make a fork to reverse transactions. (i.e. famous DAO breach).

Hardforking requires code changing without backwards compatibility. After the hard fork all the previous blockchain with all the transactions will be copied and switched to the new rules.

Ethereum Constantinople Fork 2018

Ethereum Constantinople Fork

Ethereum Constantinople Fork 2018

The Constantinople Ethereum hard fork is expected to be on 7,280,000 block height, on February 28.

After being postponed, Ethereum developers seems to solve the hacking vulnerability in the EIP 1283.
The fork itself will affect the mining reward, improved sharding and P-o-S mining. Full P-o-S support is expected to be implemented in the future under the fork called Casper update. No new coins will be created with a fork, as it will contain only upgrades for miners and nodes, and the previous chain will die out as none will support it.

Constantinople fork Improvements:

(EIP – Ethereum Improvement Protocol).

  • EIP 145: Make use of smart contracts much cheaper, smart contacts will use gas amount 10x time lower than before. (3 gas with EIP 145 and 35 gas before the improvement). This update will improve the information processing on the ETH blockchain the process itself called the “bitwise shifting”.
  • EIP 1052: Code execution will be optimized. Hash adoption will make contacts verification more easier and rather effective.
  • EIP 1283: The pricing method will be made fairer and simpler in case of contract storage (SSTORE opcode).
  • EIP 1014: Off-chain transactions support. State payment channels will automatically improve the performance of the network.
  • EIP 1234: Block mining reward reduced to 2 ETH instead of 3. It will add extra 12 months of mining before the Ethereum Ice Age will come. It means when there will be nothing to mine, it will freeze the network or make mining profitable on the blockchain. The reduction in block mining reward would delay the difficulty bomb for a period of 12 months. The developers would keep on improving and the miners has to adopt the update, else wouldn’t be able to profit from mining.

More details about the changes can be found on GitHub.

Ethereum St.Petersburg Fork

St. Petersburg, apart from the city’s name, is another Ethereum hard fork that will occur as at same block height and the same date as the Constantinople Hard fork. This hard fork is designed to remove the 1283 EIP from the test networks. Before implementing both forks on the main network, Ethereum developers are currently testing them.

How the fork can affect ETH?

The lower block rewards will affect miners income, also there will be created an implementation of payment channels with smart contracts that will pike up the technological part of the asset. Major price changes are not expected after the hard fork.

What will be with my ETH coins?

They will be stored safely on your address and do not require funds transfer at all. The fork itself won’t affect the amount of ETH you have.

Where to store ETH?

Atomic Wallet supports Ethereum hardforks and over 300+ other coins and tokens, including BTC, LTC, XRP etc. You can easily secure, manage, exchange and buy Ethereum in one interface. You can also track your portfolio, monitor the rates and transaction history. Atomic gives you full control over your funds by encrypting private keys on your device without any custody risks.

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