Istanbul upgrade goes live on Ethereum

Quick Take

  • Ethereum’s latest network upgrade, Istanbul, has gone live at block number 9,069,000
  • Istanbul contains six distinct upgrades to improve performance, adjust the costs of opcodes, enable Ethereum and Zcash to interoperate, and enable more creative functions via contracts

Ethereum has undergone a hard fork, dubbed “Istanbul,” in which six distinct upgrades have been added to the network at block number 9,069,000.

A hard fork refers to a radical change to a network’s underlying protocol that creates new rules defining which blocks and transactions the network will consider valid. Due to the decentralized nature of blockchain, the community has to work with each other as well as system developers to agree on which changes will be programmed into various clients, which, in Ethereum’s case, include Geth, Parity, and Nethermind. To date, the Ethereum network has undergone seven hard forks, including Constantinople, Spurious Dragon, and Byzantium.

Details

Istanbul contains six distinct upgrades, or Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP):

EIP-152: Add Blake2 compression function ‘F’ precompile

This EIP will make it possible for the BLAKE2b hash function to run cheaply on Ethereum. This will improve interoperability between Ethereum and Zcash, enabling contracts like trustless atomic swaps between chains and adding to the network’s privacy features. It will allo