Ethereum's most popular client has upgraded its code to enforce the upcoming Byzantium upgrade set for later this month.
The code from Go Ethereum (Geth) officially enshrines the hard fork for block number 4,370,000, a time previously established by developers during an ethereum core team discussion on September 22. With the Geth release, the network moves closer to implementing the first of two parts in the wider Metropolis upgrade. The addition of the code to Geth is notable because it greatly increases the likelihood that the upgrade will happen at that time.
Geth, which is maintained by developers employed by the Ethereum Foundation (the Swiss nonprofit that manages development on ethereum more broadly), accounts for roughly 69 percent of all ethereum nodes, according to data from Ethernodes.org.
If the block time remains consistent between now and then, the hard fork - which will make previous versions incompatible with the wider ethereum network following the upgrade trigger - will officially occur on October 17.
Anyone running a ethereum node with Geth is requested to update their software to "ensure a smooth transition," the code release states.
In a reddit post accompanying the release, ethereum developer Peter Szilágyi advised node operators to update their software at least a week prior to the mainnet launch. Other clients, such as Mist, will issue updates in the coming dates, Szilágyi predicted.
"Please give yourselves ample time to switch to the 1.7.x series (1.7.1 specifically for Byzantium) before the hard fork to avoid any surprises as the series does contain non-trivial database optimizations ([it] also gives us time to fix anything if something doesn't work as it should)," he commented.
The code release comes in spit of the recent spam attacks on the Ropsten test network, though those interruptions were not enough to deter ethereum developers from the work on testing Byzantium.
As previously detailed by CoinDesk, the upcoming hardfork, which is the first part of a larger upgrade planned for the platform, will feature a variety of improvements including increased speed and ramified security. Certain changes may also eventually pave way to increase privacy on the ethereum blockchain.
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