On October 16, 2017, the Ethereum blockchain witnessed a Byzantium Fork, which was a hard fork. A hard fork refers to a change in the blockchain protocol that isn’t backward-compatible. This means that nodes (computers on a network) that are running the new protocol won’t be able communicate with those running the older version. All nodes must upgrade to the latest version in order to adopt the new protocol.
The first fork, called Byzantium, was part of the Ethereum Metropolis upgrade. On February 28, 2019, Constantinople was the second fork. These forks were intended to bring about a variety of improvements and changes to Ethereum’s network. They included changes in the processing of transactions, changes to smart contract programming language and new cryptographic techniques.
The Byzantium Fork had one goal: to increase the scalability and stability of the Ethereum network. Scalability is the ability of a blockchain network to process large amounts of transactions without becoming slow or congested. The Byzantium Fork made several changes to the Ethereum network’s transaction processing in order to improve scalability.
One of these changes was the introduction the “receipts trioe,” which allows transactions and data to be stored more efficiently, reducing the total amount of data needed to be stored on blockchain. This reduces the size of blockchain and makes transactions easier to process by nodes.
The “opcode gas price changes” introduced another change to the Ethereum network’s smart contract processing. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts where the terms between the buyer and the seller are directly written into the code. To make it more difficult for attackers to launch DoS attacks on the Ethereum network, the opcode gas price changes were made.
These changes were not the only ones made by the Byzantium Fork. It also introduced several cryptographic enhancements, including “zero-knowledge provs”, which allow users to prove that they possess certain information without having to reveal the actual information. This is a way to increase privacy on Ethereum by allowing users the ability to prove ownership of a specific asset without having to reveal the asset.
The Byzantium Fork was a major update to Ethereum’s network. It introduced many changes and improvements that aim to increase the security and scalability of the platform. These improvements have been instrumental in paving the way for continued growth and development for the Ethereum network and laid the groundwork for future upgrades and updates to the platform.
Muir Glacier Update
Muir Glacier, a block added to the Ethereum blockchain on January 2, 2019, is an example of a block. It was named after John Muir who was a 19th-century environmentalist and conservationist. The Muir Glacier update was made to fix a potential problem with Ethereum’s Proof-of-Work (PoW), which is used for validating transactions and creating new blocks.
PoW has a major problem. It consumes a lot of energy to operate. Miners must perform complex calculations in order to solve cryptographic puzzles and validate transactions. Concerns have been raised about the sustainability of PoW-based PoW-based networks and their impact on the environment.
This update to Muir Glacier was created to address this problem by adding a delay to the Ethereum network’s “difficulty Bomb,” which is a mechanism that slowly increases the difficulty in mining new blocks. The difficulty bomb’s purpose is to encourage miners to use newer versions of Ethereum’s software. These often include improvements and new features. The difficulty bomb can cause problems if not adjusted correctly. It can make mining more difficult and less profitable for miners.
In order to allow the Ethereum community more time and energy to create and implement a new consensus algorithm, the Muir Glacier update delayed difficulty bomb by 4 million blocks or 611 days. The new proof-of-stake algorithm (PoS) would allow users to verify transactions and create new blocks. This is done by holding a certain amount of Ethereum, rather than performing energy-intensive calculations.
The Muir Glacier update was made possible by a hard fork. This is a process which involves splitting the Ethereum network into separate chains. Because the Muir Glacier update had made changes to Ethereum’s underlying code that weren’t backward-compatible, a hard fork was required. To continue using the Ethereum network, all users and miners must upgrade to the latest version of the software.
The Muir Glacier update was generally a well-received one by the Ethereum community. It addressed concerns about sustainability and allowed the community to have more time to create and implement a new consensus algorithm. Some users were opposed to hard forks and the disruption they could cause.
The Muir Glacier update was a major milestone for Ethereum. It addressed concerns about energy consumption and sustainability and opened the door to proof-of-stake. Although the update was controversial, it was generally seen as an important step in the continued evolution of Ethereum and other cryptocurrency industries.
Constantinople was an Ethereum protocol upgrade, which was completed in February 2019. This was the fifth major upgrade of the Ethereum network and brought about several significant changes to the Ethereum blockchain.
Constantinople’s upgrade had one goal: to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of certain transactions. The upgrade introduced a new type transaction called a “subroutine”. This allows smart contracts to reuse code, which lowers the amount gas (internal pricing for running a contract or transaction in Ethereum).
The Constantinople upgrade also brought about a significant change in the block reward for miners. Miners received 3 ETH per block that they mined prior to the upgrade. The block reward for the Constantinople upgrade was now 2 ETH. This was done to address Ethereum’s high inflation rate.
The Constantinople upgrade included many other important changes to Ethereum’s network, in addition to the change to block reward and subroutines. It introduced “CREATE2” a new opcode, which is a command used in the Ethereum Virtual machine (EVM), to execute a particular operation. This allows the creation of new contracts using a specific bytcode. It also made changes to how certain opcodes were executed. This was done to increase the security of Ethereum’s network.
The Constantinople upgrade was an important event in the history of the Ethereum network. It introduced many significant changes to the network that would improve its security, efficiency, and scalability. Although the initial delay was due to a security flaw discovered just before the planned implementation, the upgrade was successfully completed and has been an integral part of the Ethereum network ever since its release.
London Hard Fork
The London hard fork in Ethereum was an upgrade of the Ethereum network that occurred on April 15, 2021. This was the ninth hardfork of Ethereum and featured many improvements and new features.
The London hard fork had one main objective: to increase the efficiency and scalability the Ethereum network. This was achieved through several changes, including the introduction and removal of obsolete code.
The London hard fork saw one of the most important changes: the adoption of an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the “Ethereum2.0 EVM.” The new EVM is more efficient and scalable that the previous version and is expected to greatly improve the performance and stability of the Ethereum network.
The London hard fork also saw the introduction of an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP), called “EIP-1559.” This EIP addresses the problem of high transaction fees on Ethereum networks by introducing a basefee that adjusts automatically based on network demand. This will reduce the cost of the Ethereum network, and make it more affordable for users.
These changes were not the only ones made to the London hard fork. There were also many other improvements such as:
- A new data availability mechanism, “data uncles”, was introduced. This allows nodes to store and retrieve data faster.
- Implementation of a new Ethereum Protocol Feature (EPF), called “Ethereum Protocol Upgrade”, which allows the Ethereum network’s upgrade to be more efficient and easy.
- Implementation of an Ethereum Protocol Feature, “Ethereum Protocol Reward,” that rewards users for their participation in the Ethereum network.
Overall, the London hardfork was a significant milestone for Ethereum and laid the groundwork for future improvements and innovations. It has made the Ethereum network more appealing to both developers and users by increasing its efficiency and scalability.
Gray Glacier Upgrade
Gray Glacier was an upgrade proposal for the Ethereum network. It was intended to fix some of the performance and scaling issues the network was facing at the time. Gray Glacier, a Patagonia glacier known for its slow but steady movements, was the upgrade’s name.
Gray Glacier’s upgrade had one main goal: to lower the cost of transactions on Ethereum. This was achieved by creating a new type transaction, the “stateless client,” that was intended to transfer some of the responsibility of verifying transactions onto users’ devices instead of the network.
Gray Glacier’s upgrade also included the introduction of rent, which was a way to charge users for data storage on the Ethereum network. Rent was created to encourage users to store only the data they needed to use the network. This would reduce overall network load and increase its performance.
Gray Glacier upgraded included these improvements as well as a variety of technical improvements such the introduction of an “Ethereum virtual machine 2.0” (EVM2.0). The new virtual machine is more efficient and scalable that the previous version. This will help further enhance the performance of Ethereum’s network.
Gray Glacier was intended to solve some of the performance and scalability issues the Ethereum network was experiencing at the time and prepare the network for future growth. Although the upgrade was not completed due to various problems, many of those concepts and ideas that were included in the Gray Glacier proposal are now part of other Ethereum upgrades such as Ethereum 2.0.