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Ethereum Forks Explained and What to Know About Them

The price of Ethereum (ETH) currently averages around $130 and its market cap is the third largest of all cryptos, lagging only behind Bitcoin and XRP (almost same market cap of XRP).

Speaking of market cap, it almost doubled in a month, from around $8 billion in mid-December to $14 billion today.

So what led to this enormous boost? Well, the reason very well might be the upcoming Ethereum Hard Forks:

  • Classic Vision
  • Ethereum Nowa
  • Constantinople Ethereum

Classic Vision

The first hard fork to be released is the Ethereum Classic Vision (ETCV), coming on 11th January. Classic Vision is looking to solve the problems plaguing Ethereum, like scaling, high cost of data storage or mining inefficiency. Here are some of the features of Classic Vision.

  • Way more transactions per second, more than 10,000 per second.
  • Will combine many technologies, including sharding and P2P asset sharing
  • dApp development tools, both front-end, and back-end.

Also, all Ethereum holders can receive three ETCV for every ETH in their personal wallets.

What to expect?

A lot of the features and changes involving the Ethereum Classic Vision look good, but the reality might be different. For starters, there is a mention of implementing and switching to Proof of Stake (PoS), but there are hardly any details when and how will this occur.

Same goes for the promise of a reduction in block mining rewards. The project has a lot of uncertainties, with promising a lot when having hardly anything to back that up.

Ethereum Nowa

A day after the Classic Vision, on 12th January, the Ethereum Nowa (ETN) will be released. Like Classic Vision, Nowa is looking to switch to Proof of Stake as well as offering more transactions, over 20000 per second, to be precise.

Ethereum owners will get one ETN for every ETH in their personal wallets. The project also mentions the desktop and mobile wallets in the near future.

What to expect?

While Ethereum Classic Vision has some red flags and uncertainties, Ethereum Nowa has an abundance of them. Vague promises and descriptions on pretty much everything.

The icing on the cake is probably the team section, where the “team” behind Nowa is actually just a bunch of stock photos taken from the shutterstock.com.

Later, the whole team section was removed from the official website. All in all, this all reeks of a phishing scam, so extreme caution is advised.

Constantinople Ethereum

The last and the most important hard fork is the Constantinople Ethereum. It’s looking to improve efficiency and performance of Ethereum in every single way.

It’s said to be built on 7080000 blocks, and that it will be moving from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. Five different Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) are introduced.

  • EIP 1283 – SSTORE opcode changes which will reduce gas cost as well as enable new features.
  • EIP 1234 – maybe the most significant EIP, it reduces the mining reward from 3 Ether to 2 and delays the difficulty bomb to roughly a year. The difficulty bomb makes mining gradually more difficult until it’s impossible to make a profit, which will allow the transition to Proof of Stake
  • EIP 1052 – a new opcode that allows generating specific types of address hashes.
  • EIP 1014 – uninitialized addresses on the blockchain can be interacted with, also, improved network performance.
  • EIP 145 – introduces bitwise shifting operation, which will make smart contracts cheaper to use by using less gas than before

This hard fork is basically an upgrade and an improvement for Ethereum blockchain, so there shouldn’t be any new coins.

Constantinople Ethereum is expected to be released somewhere between 14th January and 18th January.

What to expect?

Unlike the Classic Vision and Nowa, Constantinople probably won’t have a new coin, since it’s practically an upgrade. Constantinople Ethereum is a clear step to transit from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake all the changes seem relatively good.

Although, some might have mixed feelings due to a decrease in the reward for finding blocks. Still, this is a long-term strategy for Ethereum and it’s still too early to tell what kind of impact will it have, but the recent increase in Ethereum market cap and value might speak favourably for this upgrade.

Conclusion

All in all, from the looks of it, Ethereum Constantinople is the only hard fork worth looking into. Classic Vision is full of promises but fairly vague with nothing to back up those promises and Nowa just looks like a scam (it probably is). Still, 2019 looks like a promising year for Ethereum and it will be interesting to see how all of this turns out.

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