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Ethereum Users Should Update Their Nodes for New Hard Fork

Mon, 12/23/2019 - 14:57
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Vladislav Sopov
Shortly after the Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork was implemented on the mainnet, node operators should be prepared for the Muir Glacier, which will occur on January 1!
Ethereum Users Should Update Their Nodes for New Hard Fork
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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.

Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork: Comprehensive Guide

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.

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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.

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.

Have you ever operated on an Ethereum node? Describe your experience in the Comments Section below.

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About the author

Blockchain Analyst & Writer with scientific background. 6+ years in IT-analytics, 3+ years in blockchain.

Worked in independent analysis as well as in start-ups (, Monoreto, Attic Lab etc.)