Ethereum's Byzantium Hard Fork Is Running Smoothly, Developers Say


Although it’s still very early days for ethereum’s Byzantium upgrade, developers indicate that the hard fork is running smoothly so far.

Speaking to CoinDesk, unofficial release manager for Byzantium, Hudson Johnston, said that the success of the fork can be attributed to “the hard work (of) developers, users and miners across the Ethereum ecosystem.”

Changes enacted by the upgrade mean that blocks will be created faster, but miners will receive lower fees for the effort.

While the impact on ethereum’s infrastructure will be substantial, it looks like the network is undergoing an adjustment period. Currently, some blocks are being mined in as little as 1 second, but others are dragging out to nearly a minute – substantially longer than the pre-Byzantium average of 25 seconds per block.

Further, blocks are filling with relatively high numbers of transactions. That’s good news for scalability, as ethereum can, in theory, continue to grow without slowing down the network.

According to the ethereum fork tracker, mining on the pre-Byzantium blockchain has ceased. This is also positive news for ethereum, as it means a relatively low chance of competing currencies, as happened last summer with the split that produced the rival asset, ethereum classic.

That said, according to ethereum developer Afri Schoedon – who also indicated that the fork has been a success – there’s still a chance that someone is mining the old blockchain, but probably at very high cost.

In the days prior to the fork, developers and node operators (such as mining pools) were given some last minute toil, as faults found in Byzantium software led to continuous re-releases. The issues saw ethereum developers working around the clock to get the corrected software out on time, and node operators working over the weekend to install the updated software.

At press time, a high proportion of nodes are yet to install the Byzantium update, though the figures are slowly changing and an ongoing trickle of nodes is arriving to the hard fork fashionably late.

Although the price per dollar of ether dropped somewhat in the run up to the fork, prices peaked close to the monthly high of $350 immediately after, according CoinMarketCap. At press time, ether prices have dropped back to $337 – the same level seen immediately prior to the fork.

Newton’s cradle image via Shutterstock

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