Recently, the Ethereum blockchain, known as the world’s second-largest by market value got its latest update in which two highly awaited upgrades namely St. Petersburg and Constantinople officially got activated without incident.
At 19:57 (UTC), the sixth and seventh system-wide upgrades to the software, dubbed Constantinople and St. Petersburg, respectively, were unveiled on to the main network at block number 7,280,000. So far there is no evidence of a chain split that would suggest a portion of ethereum users are still running an older ethereum software, according to data presented on blockchain monitoring website Fork Monitor.
Such setbacks have been encountered by tast hard forks of the Ethereum, the most notable case occurring back in 2016 with ethereum classic, a group which continually ran an older software instance even when a controversial upgrade was launched.
In order to avoid two concurrent and incompatible versions of the same blockchain from splitting the wider network as background, prior to any hard fork or system-wide upgrade node operators and miners are required to install new client software that has an automated process for uploading the exact same block number.
In an interview, Taylor Monahan, CEO of blockchain wallet tool MyCrypto said, “With the blockchain, everyone has to upgrade in order for everyone to be able to use [the new] features.”
Monahan further said, “About two weeks before the fork, everyone upgrades the software but none of the new features are enabled.”
The CEO of blockchain wallet tool MyCrypto further added, “Then, on that block number, everyone at the exact same time starts using the new features. So, that’s how we prevent differing states from existing simultaneously. It’s [also] called a consensus issue or a consensus bug.”
Currently, 10 to 15 computer servers known as nodes run are operated by MyCrypto all running on the most updated version of the Parity ethereum client.
The unveiling of St. Petersberg and Constantinople marks the fourth different ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) to have officially been activated on the ethereum network, out of which one introduces a new “corner case” affecting smart contract immutability.