Team lead at the Ethereum Foundation Péter Szilágyi has confirmed Dec. 4 as the expected date for the network’s forthcoming Istanbul hard fork.
In the two tweets posted on Nov. 7, Szilágyi indicated that Istanbul will commence at block 9069000. He provided Geth main net node operators with a link to a new maintenance release designed to begin the hard fork’s initialization.
Geth is the name given to one of the two most popular clients used to operate nodes on the Ethereum network the other being Parity, which will update upon the activation of Istanbul but is now in the review stage.
Following the Constantinople upgrade, which was completed in February of this year, Istanbul represents the latest hard fork in the network’s eventual transition to Ethereum 2.0, dubbed Berlin, intended to be Ethereum’s final upgrade which is set to take place in 2020.
Berlin’s most significant feature is rumored to be the implementation of a new programmatic proof-of-work algorithm dubbed “ProgPoW,” which is intended to combat the advantage that ASIC miners have on the network.
“ASIC” refers to mining hardware that uses Application-Specific Integrated Circuit chips, which are tailored to efficiently mine cryptocurrency based on a specific hashing algorithm.
By contrast, set-ups that use graphics processing units are less specialized, and have therefore to date struggled to compete for rewards on the network with those that deploy ASICs.
Ethereum’s developers decided to split the implementation of Istanbul into two stages, beginning with a version that included a selection of six Ethereum Improvement Proposals for testnet-integration in October.