Ethereum couldn’t take its demotion over Ripple and recently, Ethereum gained back its second position and is working towards retaining the position forever or longer. On December 29th, 2018, Ethereum grabbed its old position, with a market capitalization of $15,293,262,380, and is valued at around $150 USD. Since the mid-Dec, Ethereum’s market capitalization has doubled from around $8 billion to around $16 billion. The possible reason for the momentum in Ethereum price could be upcoming Eethereum Hard Forks. There are 3 hard forks lined up for this month of January.
Classic Vision Hard Fork
Ethereum Nowa Hard Fork
Constantinople Ethereum Hard Fork (Major one)
What Led to the ETH Hard Forking?
Ethereum has decreased by more than 10x from its all-time high in 2018, and numerous platforms and companies, launched via Ethereum have been facing enforcement pressures from the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the trading of securities and unregistered issuance.
The developers have figured out that the difficulty bomb programmed into Ethereum has caused the blocks to become extremely slow after a point, after which no more blocks can be mined. The developers have to hard fork periodically so that ETH keeps on getting updated with the latest technology. Ethereum has already experienced a split once, which led to hard fork over the loss of the development fund and some didn’t agree on reversing any transactions even if it was a hack, which led to the formation of ETC (Ethereum Classic). The Constantinople hard fork will implement few major changes related to improve Ethereum blockchain performance and mining rewards mentioned in Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs).
Out of all the active cryptocurrencies, January 2019 looks exciting for Ethereum as it is going to undergo three hard forks. Let’s get the details about all upcoming Ethereum hard forks.
Ethereum Hard Fork Explained
1. Classic Vision Hard Fork
Ethereum Classic Vision will be a new currency created after Ethereum hard fork and this will leverage the best of Ethereum Classic (ETC), i.e. true decentralization and the Ethereum (ETH),i.e. PoS mining and sharding. Here are a few points about ETCV hard fork:
The individual miners can profit from this as the costs will be lower and they can use as simple hardware like Raspberry Pi.
ETCV holders could earn more coins by staking them instead of selling, which will increase the value of ETCV, instead of plunging.
It will remain independent from any central authority, as there is no risk of gigantic mining pools taking over the control of the blockchain.
The Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV) dApp platform will feature both back-end and front-end development tools, enabling the users to build a complete application with an attractive UI and additional native apps for Android and iOS without recurring to third-party services.
ETCV network can process up to 10000+ transactions per second (TPS) instead of only 25 transactions per second in case of ETH.
All the Ethereum hodlers will get 3 ETCV (Ethereum Classic Vision) coins for every ETH in their private wallets. This hard fork is about to happen on 11th January 2019 – Ethereum hard fork date.
ETCV Whitepaper: https://ethereumcv.io/whitepaper.pdf
2. Ethereum Nowa Hard Fork
Just a day after the Classic vision hard fork, on 12th of January, 2019, Ethereum Nowa Fork will happen, where the ETH owners will get 1 ETN (Ethereum Nowa) coin for every ETH in their private wallets. The ETN Nowa roadmap says that it is going to come up with ETN desktop wallet by Q2 2019, and even mobile wallets (Android, iOS, WP). By Q3 and Q4, the Ethereum Nowa decentralized exchange and blockchain messenger is expected to be launched.
The Ethereum Nowa hard fork in the debate because few users on the BitcoinTalk forum has warned about a potential scam related to the ETN hard fork.
3. Ethereum Constantinople Hard Fork
This is the major and the most significant ETH hard fork happening between before 14th to 18th January 2019. The Constantinople Ethereum hard fork, which is the 2nd phase of the Metropolis project, is expected to be built on 7080000 blocks, improving efficiency and performance. This is undertaken as a step to transit from Proof of Work (PoW) protocol to Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol (Casper update). This is expected to make the ETH network faster and less costly to operate. It might be controversial as it would decrease the miners’ reward from 3 ETH to 2 ETH as well.
EIP 145: An upgrade which will efficiently detail and process the information processing on the ETH blockchain known as bitwise shifting. This will use 10 times lesser gas than before, which eventually would make the smart contracts cheaper to use.
EIP 1052: Optimising large scale code execution on the blockchain. Unique hash adoption would make the other contract verification easier as well as efficient.
EIP 1283: The pricing method will be made fairer and simpler in case of contract storage (SSTORE opcode). It would lower the gas cost as new uses would be enabled for data storage.
EIP 1014: Vitalik Buterin made scaling solution based on off-chain transactions and state channels similar to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, which will automatically improve the performance of the network.
EIP 1234: The reduction in block mining reward would delay the difficulty bomb for a period of 12 months. This would create ruckus amongst the miners as their block reward would decrease as happened earlier during the Ethereum Classic(ETC) hard fork. So, this difficulty bomb would make it impossible to mine after a certain point and would freeze the entire network, hence its also known as Ethereum’s ice age. The developers would keep on improving and the miners has to adopt the update, else wouldn’t be able to profit from mining.
As the developers are skeptical about the update and wants to ensure the Casper update is safe, this got delayed few times. Approximately around 5,500 blocks would be created every day, if every 15 seconds a new block keeps on getting created, which would definitely out a pressure on Ethereum’s value, and can prevent inflation.
The Constantinople hard fork is a part of infrastructure and protocol improvement for Ethereum blockchain, so we don’t expect any new coins from this.
More details about the changes can found here: https://github.com/ethereum/pm/wiki/Constantinople-Progress-Tracker
Possible Effects Of These Hard Forks On Ethereum
As the block rewards will be lowered to 2 ETH, investors must welcome a lower inflation rate of Ether supply. Anyway, miners have been struggling due to Ethereum price decline and slashing the block reward by one- third during this time could be seen as inconsiderate. Investors are in awe of what to expect from the upcoming Ethereum hard forks, especially after the last BCH hard fork happened in November 2018.
Some kind of short-term volatility is expected once the hard forks are announced. The transition into PoS is a risk, but Vitalik Buterin doesn’t mind taking that risk as he doesn’t care on the short-term impact on its price. What he actually cares is succeeding as an investment rather than a technology. As investors are aware of the transition’s benefits, more investors are going to get attracted.
Exchanges Supporting the Ethereum Hard Fork
Binance has confirmed that it would extend its support to the Ethereum hard fork Constantinople which is likely to happen between 14th of January, 2019 to 18th of January, 2019 (Ethereum hard fork date).
Even KuCoin has announced that they would be supporting the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork. They even mentioned that even if creates a newly forked chain, it would distribute the assets to all the users or the holders.
BitForex has officially confirmed that they would be providing support to the upcoming Ethereum Constantinople hard fork. They clarified that during the hard fork timeframe if there are any airdrops or hard forks, they would send the airdrops based on the snapshots of the assets. They don’t want the users to get stressed out, hence will take care of the technical requirements during the hard fork.
OKEx announced through its enlightening blog about Ethereum Constantinople hard fork that they are supporting the upcoming ETH Constantinople update, recommending the users to deposit ETH without worrying about their holdings. They iterated that the holdings would be safe with their institutional-grade security system.
Huobi Global has officially announced that they would be supporting the upcoming Ethereum Constantinople hard fork. If there are any additional airdrops during the hard fork, then they would distribute to the respective users after receiving. They have recommended the users to deposit the ETH as Huobi will be taking care of the technical requirements during the hard fork formation.
Bibox has also confirmed recently that they would assist the users during the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork. They have recommended the users to deposit ETH to their respective accounts and does not have to worry about anything else. Similarly, they would distribute the airdrops to the users based on the last received snapshot, if there are any additional hard forks or airdrops. All the announcements will be done on their website.
IDEX has announced that it will automatically transition to the Ethereum Constantinople hard fork and will stay in sync with the upcoming fork. They also stated that the users don’t have to be worried about the transition and would take care of the technicalities.
What Must The ETH Hodlers do?
The price of Ethereum has surged 85% in the last 3 weeks and its market cap has doubled in last one month. The hard fork seems to be giving a boost to Ethereum price and its good news for hodlers.
After the Classic Vision Hard Fork, the owner gets 3 of ETCN for every ETH they have, after the ETH Nowa (ETN) Hard Fork, the ETH owners get 1 ETN for each ETH. The users will receive the new coins only if they have their ETH in a private wallet (Metamask, Ledger Nano S, Trezor, Myetherwallet, Imtoken, Guarda) where they control the private keys.
If they have their ETH in exchange wallets then they will receive new coin if the exchange supports the respective hard forks. You can closely follow all the updates coming from the exchanges.
We also advise our users to do not import your wallet private keys to any new unrecognized wallets promising fee coins.
Impact On The Crypto Ecosystem
The crypto space is awaited for one of the biggest and first forks of 2019. It would definitely have a huge impact on the ETH price, as it is happening to transform ETH into an updated version, which helps it to grow. We may expect that Ethereum price going high and the other cryptocurrencies might suffer a downfall for a short period of time during hard forks. Ethereum rose by around 85% over three weeks time.
We have seen similar happenings during or before Bitcoin Cash hard fork, wherein the other cryptocurrencies suffered for quite a bit of time. It is hard to predict the long-term impact of a hard fork and its evident that ETH is in a very critical phase now, as its going through a significant transition phase.