Ethereum surges 10% as trading gets volatile in anticipation of Constantinople upgrade

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)

Here’s a link to an explainer video about all EIPs mentioned above (except EIP 1283). Here’s where users may track all progress related to Constantinople.

It is expected that market volatility will continue up until the hard fork is safely activated.