Ethereum Foundation Has Announced ETH Hard Fork Codenamed Metropolis
The Ethereum foundation has revealed its plan to implement a new hard fork named “Metropolis” into Ethereum in September. This caused the price of Ethereum’s digital token Ether to surge from $287 to $345 within a two-day period, as the market cap of Ethereum increased by $3 billion, according to Coin Market Cap.
In an informative, analytical blog post entitled “Hard Forks, Soft Forks, Defaults, and Coercion,” Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin explained that not all hard forks are contentious in the crypto community noting BTC and ETH are different. He further emphasized that hard forks allow for more thorough updates to a blockchain protocol than soft forks do.
“If I had to guess why, despite these arguments, soft forks are often billed as ‘less coercive’ than hard forks, I would say that it is because it feels like a hard fork ‘forces’ the user into installing a software update, whereas with a soft fork users do not ‘have’ to do anything at all. However, this intuition is misguided: what matters is not whether or not individual users have to perform the simple bureaucratic step of clicking a ‘download’ button, but rather whether or not the user is coerced into accepting a change in protocol rules that they would rather not accept,” Vitalik Buterin wrote.
The newly introduced hard fork proposal by the Ethereum Foundation is expected to provide four major benefits to developers, users, and businesses in the Ethereum network alike. Through the adjustment of gas, integration of zk-SNARKs and account abstraction, the Metropolis Ethereum network is expected to be more private, and efficient.
“In Metropolis the basis for the so-called zk-snarks is to build these ‘Zero Knowledge Proofs’ which will allow the Ethereum Blockchain to perform anonymous transactions on a higher level in the future. A proximity to Zcash is not surprising, as Ethereum chief developer Buterin and Wilcox work together on Zcash’s anonymity,” Josh Breslauer noted.
Unlike the Bitcoin network, where most hard fork executions are contentious and can lead to chain splits, the vast majority of Ethereum’s hard forks have been conducted to drastically improve the network’s security, flexibility, and adaptability without a chain split. Except one previous hard fork led by the developers behind Ethereum Classic, which created the ETH Classic digital token.
This comes as technology giant Microsoft has announced it will build a privacy based framework called Coco for enterprises. Microsoft tested the Ether protocol on this software, but the company stated that it will be compatible with any blockchain protocol. “Coco is an open-source system that enables high-scale, confidential blockchain networks that is compatible with any blockchain protocol,” Microsoft Azure wrote.
The combined news caused the daily trading volume of Ether to increase, from $600 million to an incredible $2.2 billion. At the time of this reporting, the daily trading volume of Ethereum is close to becoming parity with Bitcoin’s $2.6 billion volume. Because of all this news, we may see Ethereum surge in value in September or the coming months.
The “Metropolis” hard fork is not expected to split the Ethereum chain at the time of this report.