It looks like we have some important updates regarding the Ethereum Metropolis hard fork. It was previously unclear when this upgrade would go into effect, but a tentative date has now been provided by the developers. According to the information we received, Metropolis will go into effect at the end of next month and will introduce some interesting changes. The strong focus on anonymity will certainly make things interesting. Other changes detailed below should be taken into account as well.
Metropolis is Coming to the Ethereum Blockchain
Ethereum users have looked forward to the Metropolis hard fork for some time now. This hard fork was announced several months ago, but there was never an official release date. Coding these changes could very well have resulted in issues which needed to be worked out, further pushing back an official timeline. The proposed changes made to Ethereum are quite thorough and embody the result of weeks of hard work on the part of various coders. One could argue Ethereum will never be the same after the Metropolis hard fork, which does not have to be a bad thing.
The most major change coming to Ethereum is the implementation of zk-SNARKS. For anyone who has kept tabs on privacy and anonymity features in the cryptographic industry, zk-SNARKS will sound pretty familiar. The technology has been employed by various alternative currencies in the past, although it does not provide anonymity all by itself. Instead, zk-SNARKS will be incorporated in the Metropolis hard fork, which will not make Ethereum an anonymous currency right away. Though it will pave the way for anonymous transactions in the future, it remains unclear when this will occur exactly.
Coders and developers will be pleased to hear some big changes are coming to the coding structure as well. Programming with Ethereum and its smart contract technology should become a lot easier come September. That is a big development which will undoubtedly lead to the creation of more Dapps in the future. It is also a welcome change, considering that a lot of people seemingly struggle with the Solidity coding language. Competition in the smart contract industry will be heating up as well.
Another big change a lot of people will enjoy is the change in gas calculation. Users currently have to set gas limits themselves. Some current wallets also overcharge users for network fees unless individuals change the value themselves. All of that will now change, as gas costs will be adjusted automatically at the time of transactions. As a result, we should see lower transaction fees whenever the Ethereum network is not congested. We can only hope wallet providers will implement these changes as well, as there is no reason to let users pay too much for transactions.
We also recently reported on the Ethereum mining difficulty bomb and how a delay could be in order. The release of Metropolis in a few weeks’ time seemingly confirms that the difficulty bomb has been pushed back by another few months. This matter will be resolved through a future hard fork for which there is no effective release date just yet. This is great news for miners who only recently invested in GPUs to mine Ethereum and other currencies. Switching over to proof-of-stake will not happen overnight, but it is still on the agenda.
All things considered, big things are bound to happen for Ethereum. Whether or not the markets will respond positively to these changes remains to be determined. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming hard fork, though the market may not respond in kind. Only time will tell how things evolve for Ethereum, but the upcoming changes promise to introduce some big improvements overall. An exciting future lies ahead for the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.
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