Ethereum (ETH) Promises Speed After Istanbul Hard Fork on December 7

The Istanbul update ran on testnet, creating a split chain and sparking fears of an actual split as miners may not accept changes from Ethereum developers.

The Ethereum (ETH) project is preparing for the Istanbul hard fork to go live on the mainnet this December 6 or 7, depending on relative block time. The update, which first ran on testnet for a few weeks, promises greater transaction capacity.

Reportedly, the network will be able to carry as much as 3,000 transactions per second. However, demand for actual transactions may fluctuate. For some nodes and miners, there are statistics of thousands of pending transactions.

The Ethereum network remains highly active when it comes to distributed apps and decentralized finance operations. From now on, each hard fork is an even greater responsibility, which may affect a larger ecosystem.

ETH prices also showed a capability to recover, jumping from a low around $138 to current levels at $153.11. Trading volumes remain above $8.2 billion’s equivalent in the past 24 hours. The upcoming hard fork may spark a rally in ETH prices, though the market is still affected by the recent sell-off.

The Istanbul hard fork will increase inter-compatibility with ZCash and other Equihash-based coins. Additionally, gas prices will be lowered for some operations, to lighten the load for node operators and miners.

Currently, the Ethereum network is loaded by a new smart contract, taking up more than 26% of gas on Thursday. The smart contract is distributing an asset called MIP token, held in above 275,975 addresses. The airdrop is still temporary, and on a monthly basis, the Tether smart contract is still the biggest gas user.

ETH is still seen as a valuable resource, both for its utility, and for the price potential. The recent theft of 342,000 ETH from Upbit was also followed by an attempt to move the funds, so far removing 1,000 ETH from the address.

The hacker is now in the process of moving funds around and seeing which exchanges will not recognize the transaction before selling.

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