Finally, after years of development and some delays the Constantinople ethereum upgrade is good to go, with it to go live at about 8 PM London time, just about when America might get ready for lunch, while China might stay up a bit late to see the show.
Not that there will be any. The new rules automatically kick-in and that’s it, with no fireworks or anything “visible.”
Hopefully anyway, if all goes well and smoothly. Previous forks have had fireworks of sorts. Old bitcoiners may well remember the accidental chain-split in 2013. This is all just code, however, so any problem would quickly be fixed.
If it all is uneventful, then one important new rule to go live in a few hours is issuance reduction from 3eth per block to 2eth per block.
That will lower new eth supply by about $1 million a day or close to half a billion a year from circa $2.7 million (◊20,000) to $1.7 million (◊13,000).
In addition, block times will return to the usual 15 seconds average from a current circa 20 seconds, with capacity thus to get back to normal after some temporary reduction due to the increased blocktimes.
Where miners are concerned, they’ve already experienced the effects of this reduction for much of this month as the ice age algorithmically reduced total new supply to a current 13,500 eth.
It is unlikely thus there will be much difference on the mining front, but devs may get some new features to play with that might allow for more efficient second layer networks and other technical capabilities.
Next step for eth may then be the Beacon Chain testnet this spring which begins the deployment process for Proof of Stake (PoS).
For investors and traders the effect of that might be the withdrawal of circulating supply dapp style as stakers lock their eth to receive an interest rate of 5%-8% in return for securing the network with it to go live perhaps by the end of the year.
Before that, summer may well bring ProgPoW which currently has an overwhelming 93% of casted eth voting for Yes.
That is primarily relevant for miners, with Autumn potentially starting the deployment process for storage fees through Eth 1x.
Making it a very busy year for ethereum at just the protocol level. Plasma might well go out this year. There may even be regulated futures. New dapps might deploy and the overall infrastructure will probably continue to grow.