Ethereum's Byzantium Hard Fork Is Running Smoothly, Developers Say

Although it's still very early days for ethereum's Byzantium upgrade, developers indicate that the hard fork is running smoothly so far.

Oct 16, 2017 at 8:45 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:02 a.m. UTC

While it's still perhaps too early to deem ethereum's Byzantium upgrade a success, developers indicate the software update, executed just hours ago, is running smoothly so far.

Speaking to CoinDesk, unofficial release manager for Byzantium, Hudson Jameson, noted that the new software is now stable, and steadily rolling out across the distributed network, a fact he said can be attributed to "the hard work (of) developers, users and miners across the ethereum ecosystem."

But while the impact on ethereum's infrastructure will be substantial, it looks like the network is undergoing an adjustment period. Currently, some blocks are being mined in as little as 1 second, though others are dragging out to nearly a minute – substantially longer than the long-time average of 25 seconds per block.

Further, blocks are filling with relatively high numbers of transactions. That's good news for scalability, as ethereum can, in theory, continue to grow without slowing down the network.

According to the ethereum fork tracker, mining on the old blockchain with the older ruleset has ceased. This is also positive news for ethereum, as it means a relatively low chance that a competing currency will be introduced, as happened last summer when a split produced the rival asset, ethereum classic.

That said, according to ethereum developer Afri Schoedon, there's still a chance that someone is mining the old blockchain, but probably at very high cost.

In the days prior to the fork, developers and node operators (such as mining pools) were given some last-minute toil, as faults found in Byzantium software led to continuous re-releases. The issues saw ethereum developers working around the clock to get the corrected software out on time, and node operators working over the weekend to install the updated software.

At press time, a high proportion of nodes are yet to install the Byzantium update, though the figures are slowly changing and an ongoing trickle of nodes is arriving to the hard fork fashionably late.

Although the price per dollar of ether dropped somewhat in the run-up to the fork, prices peaked close to the monthly high of $350 immediately after, according CoinMarketCap. At press time, ether prices have dropped back to $337 – the same level seen immediately prior to the fork.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the name of the unofficial release manager for Byzantium, Hudson Jameson, as Hudson Johnston.

Ball bearings via Shutterstock

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