Geth Releases Software Update Ahead of Ethereum 'Byzantium' Hard Fork

A new version of Geth, a command-line interface for running ethereum nodes, includes changes that could see the software running at far higher speeds.

AccessTimeIconSep 15, 2017 at 5:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:56 a.m. UTC
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

A new version of ethereum's Geth node software has been released, which includes support for the upcoming "Byzantium" upgrade as well as a series of performance enhancements.

Named Megara, the freshly-coded Geth release has been reformatted to include all improvements developed for Byzantium, which forms the first of two parts in the wider "Metropolis" update. Ethereum is currently on target to activate the Byzantium hard fork within the next month.

It notably includes a formal block number for the launch of Byzantium on Ropsten, the ethereum testnet. Previously set for September 18, the block number is now officially 1,700,000, which looks likely to be reached in roughly seven days.

On top of featuring compatibility with the Byzantium improvements, new performance enhancements have been introduced to the software. Among those are steps to cut the amount of data storage required by a node from 26.3GB to 14.9GB – making ethereum significantly lighter to run. Updated nodes will also be able to process contracts faster, with filtering times reduced from minutes to under a second.

Some updates are yet to be finalized, but promise to eventually reduce the bandwidth requirement of the underlying peer-to-peer protocol from 33.6GB to 13.5GB. Further, a memory-caching improvement should increase in speed by a "couple orders of magnitude," the release states.

Megera also includes an improved transaction pool. In the earlier version of Geth, high-paying transactions were prioritized indiscriminately – but, in this new version, a Geth user's own transaction will always receive priority, regardless of whether it contains fewer funds.

For enhanced security, new protective measures on the transaction disk enforce that a backup be created for local transactions in case of a node crashing. Further, Geth will now also support the Trezor line of hardware wallets.

Command line image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.