The Ethereum hard fork, which will be activated at block number 7,080,000, is a step towards moving the Ethereum model from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake paradigm. It will consist of several codebase modifications specified by five different ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs). These include:
- EIP 145 implements Bitwise shifting, which speeds up the arithmetic on the network and lowers the gas cost of transactions — this will make it cheaper to run certain smart contracts on Ethereum.
- EIP 1052 increases the efficiency regarding the computing time of contracts, instead of checking the bytecode of a contract, EIP 1052 will make it so that only the hash — or the digital fingerprint — of the contract is checked.
- EIP 1283 adjusts gas metering for SStore opcodes, as a result, there should be friendlier pricing for storage change caches.
- EIP 1014 introduces state channels to the Ethereum network. Similar to the Lightning network on Bitcoin, state channels will allow transactions to happen off of the main chain and should incubate scaling solutions.
- EIP 1234 delays the Ethereum ice-age by 12 months and lowers the block reward from 3 ETH to 2 ETH.
In its announcement, Coinbase said that it intends to fully support the Constantinople Ethereum upgrade.
“Upon commencement of the upgrade, for security and technical purposes, we will temporarily pause sending and receiving ETH across all of our trading platforms until the upgrade completes and we confirm security of the network,” Coinbase said. “The network upgrade will not interfere with buying, selling or trading of ETH on Coinbase Pro, Coinbase.com or mobile apps.”
In a Twitter post, Kraken said that they will also be supporting the hard fork, adding that they expect Constantinople will be a non-contentious fork.
“No new coins will be credited to ETH holders as we expect the old chain will quickly become obsolete,” Kraken said.
Other major crypto exchanges supporting Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork include Huobi, Binance and OKEx.