Surely Ethereum likes to choose the name of beautiful cities for their systematic upgrades or hard forks, how they are generally denominated.
After Byzantium, St Petersburg and Constantinople earlier this year, Istanbul (which is the new Byzantium and Constantinople by the way) was chosen for the scheduled upgrade at block number 9,069,000, occurred on Saturday, December 7, 2019.
A network upgrade is a change to the Ethereum protocol, creating new rules to improve the system. This is the 8th occurred in the life of the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, which will see its significant improvement in 2021 with the shift to the proof of stake consensus.
These new rules that in Ethereum become Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) define in technical terms the changes and features that should be implemented in a network upgrade and typically add features requested by users and developers of the protocol. They describe standards for the Ethereum platform, including core protocol specifications, client APIs, and contract standards.
A ‘hard fork’ denotes a network update which is not fully backward compatible, and has the potential to make some previous transactions invalid, and/or change the existing functionality of deployed contracts.
To clear any confusion, a network upgrade does not mean that you will suddenly end up with more coins. When other hard forks brought magical free money, it happened because there was no consensus between the parties (like when BCH parted from BTC or BSV from BCH).
In Istanbul, all miners and nodes involved agreed on the improvements; they are therefore creating a new chain and break with the previous one. Still, there’s no need to create a new token or coin because they have unanimously agreed to the changes.
The decentralized nature of blockchain systems makes a network upgrade more difficult. Network upgrades in a blockchain require cooperation and communication with the community, as well as with the…