Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork to Start on December 4th
The first phase of Ethereum’s next major hard fork is planned to happen on less than a month around December 4th at block number 9056000. The hard fork called Istanbul is divided in two parts with the first one to be executed on December 4th and the second one planned for early 2020. The next hard fork called Serenity that will bring Ethereum 2.0 and switch the project from PoW to PoS may or may not happen before the end of 2020, so there is still time for that. Is is worth mentioning that on December 4th Ethereum (ETH) will not be switching its mining algorithm from Ethash to the much anticipated and still somewhat controversial ProgPoW as this is still planned to happen in the second Istanbul phase with the EIP-1057 scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.
If you are still mining Ethereum with ASIC miners or GPUs and the Ethash algorithm you will have more than just a month left, it could easily take up to another 6 months for ProgPoW to replace Ethash as the PoW algorithm, though it can also happen faster than that. Nevertheless this can signal the upcoming death of ETH ASIC miners as although there are a number of other projects using the Ethash algorithm, they will most likely not be able to handle the massive hashrate outflow from Ethereum if/when it forks to ProgPoW. On the other hand ProgPoW can also bring a change in the way GPUs are being used for mining as it is supposed to provide a more level playing field for the different GPUs in terms of mining performance. So definitely Ethereum’s upcoming hard forks will have a serious impact on the crypto mining sector.
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