According to CryptoCompare data, at 3.20pm UTC, cryptocurrencies, led by Ethereum, surged by 10% from $118 to $130 in a busy 30-minute trading period. This comes only hours before the Ethereum network upgrade – dubbed Constantinople – which is due to take effect between January 15 and January 17.
The set of upgrades planned with Constantinople are non-contentious as all network participants have reportedly agreed to activate the upgrade so it won’t result in a hard fork. However some of the changes, such as the “thirdening” which will result in reduced mining rewards, are contentious within the community.
The five EIPs in the upgrade are:
- EIP 145 – more cost-effective and overall efficient approach to processing information (by adding bitwise shifting operators to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM);
- EIP 1014: better approach to accommodating network scaling solutions such as off-chain transactions;
- EIP 1052 – an improvement on how contracts are processed;
- EIP1234 – 12-month delay of difficulty bomb; reduce mining rewards from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block;
- EIP 1283 – a better way to monetize data storage changes (made by smart contract programmers)
It is expected that market volatility will continue up until the hard fork is safely activated.