It seems as if Ethereum has fallen out of the limelight quite recently with the recent news about the fork in Bitcoin and the creation of Bitcoin cash.
Yet, the Ethereum development team has been hard at work developing updates to the Ethereum network. One of these is the Metropolis that is expected to be carried out at the end of September 2017.
This was all planned through the Ethereum road map of 2017. The roadmap indicated that this latest release would have some important impacts on the network.
The roadmap stated that they were looking at a timeframe for the updates of 3-6 months. The end of September is at the end of that envelope. Nevertheless, the upgrade is great news for those who were hoping for it.
What Upgrades to Expect
There are a number of important upgrades that will come out of the Metropolis fork.
The upgrade will include simpler programming as well as a simplification of the smart contracts. More particularly, Gas will be adjusted when a transaction is executed which will save costs hopefully.
The Metropolis upgrade will also include “Zero Knowledge Proofs” called zk-snarks. These will allow the Ethereum block chain to implement anonymous transactions to a greater degree going forward. Three are alot of similarities with this and Zcash given that the Ethereum developers work on Zcash’s anonymyty.
There is also a security update that is particularly important for those users who are concerned about “quantum computing” attacks. This will be done by masking for users to determine for which address they have the private key.
Lastly, something called a difficulty bomb will be also be implement albeit in the second hard fork of Ehtereum. This will cause an expansion of the difficulty in mining on the Ethereum network.
This is the first step that the network is taking to move from a proof of stake to a proof of work protocol. For the current fork however, there will only be a reduction in the block reward size from 5 to 3 ether per block.
How Will the Price React?
It is not immediately clear how the price will react to the hard fork. Some people are of the view that less miners will devote resources to Ether mining. Yet, there has been a strong increase in the miners joining the network as a result of the increase in price.
Moreover, if the upgrades are seen as a positive step in the right direction by a number of users, the network will get more users overall and the price should increase.
It is important to note that the Serenity Update will still follow Metropolis. This should bring Ethereum into the mainstream and lead to a breakthrough in adoption and an increase in price.