Ethereum (ETH) Completes Istanbul, Eighth Hard Fork Since Inception

The hard fork is seen as a stop on the path to building a proof-of-stake ecosystem, but once again put mining at the front.

The Ethereum (ETH) hard fork Istanbul was completed a bit later than scheduled, in the early hours of December 8. The upgrade arrived as nodes were mostly not ready. As of December 9, only 79 nodes remained without an upgrade, as most ran the hard fork version over the weekend.

Exchanges were on board with the change, and most went through a brief maintenance period of ETH and ERC-20 wallets.

The hard fork did not have the expected price effect on ETH, as the asset settled around a new level of stability. ETH traded at $149.50, mostly close to the $150 mark.

The hard fork did not expect actions from the regular user. But for the Aragon project, older smart contracts turned out incompatible with some of the EIP included in Istanbul. The project called for special actions to limit the consequences.

Projects built on Aragon, known as “organizations”, may be forced to migrate their tokens and user bases to an updated version.

Also, days before the fork, Parity-based nodes had to run an emergency upgrade, to avoid splitting the chain.

With more forks to come, the Ethereum network is raising more issues and potential clashes with the multitude of projects. But this time, the network ended up returning to stability. The Ethereum network hashrate, however, has fallen in October, from above 196,000 GH/s, down to the 170,000 GH/s range.

ETH is going through another process, by moving through the Maker DAO smart contracts. Now, multi-collateral DAI is taking over, with ETH being locked as collateral to the new version of the stablecoin.

The process has not been interrupted by the Istanbul hard fork, and DeFi projects for now don’t report problems, with the exception of Aragon.

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