Hudson Jameson, Core Developer at the Ethereum Foundation, published today instructions for Ethereum node operators to make preparations for the Muir Glacier update.
Micro Hard Fork?
This hard fork is unusual. Unlike Istanbul or Constantinople, which were system-wide upgrades, this hard fork consists of only one change to the blockchain consensus. The Muir Glacier hard fork will be implemented on January 1, 2020 for block number 9200000.
The upcoming update is required to customize the block time (the time it takes for one block to be validated by the whole network). In turn, this is needed to prevent the inevitable degradation in the usability of Ethereum due to wait times for confirming transactions and decentralized applications.
It's not the first time that such an update was implemented as two previous updates - one was activated in 2017 and in the other was during the early days of 2019. This customization delay lead to transaction congestion on the Ethereum network, or Ice Age, for approximately 611 days.
What Should We Do?
Like with any previous update, owners holding onto Ethereum coins (ETH, Ethers) in their wallets, exchanges, or ledgers do not need to do anything unless informed to take additional steps by their respective exchange or wallet service.
[IMPORTANT] Upgrade your nodes for the Muir Glacier upgrade happening on Jan. 1, 2020! See more here: https://t.co/hJRTHY9Gj1— Ethereum (@ethereum) December 23, 2019
Node operators should upgrade their software (clients) to the latest version. The full list of Parity, Geth, and some minor implementations have been published by the Ethereum Foundation. It should be mentioned that Ethereum's Java client will not be supported anymore, so Besu is the only active Ethereum implementation written in Java.
Even those who missed the Istanbul Hard Fork can upgrade their nodes to Muir Glacier directly.
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