As the Cryptoverse is talking about Istanbul – the latest Ethereum Hard Fork, today BTCMEX will go through the major Hard Forks that happened in the Ethereum blockchain.

Cryptocurrency Forks are considered to be rare occasions in the crypto world. Some are planned, others – results of extreme situations, like hacks! In this article, we will cover the definition of a Hard Fork and have a look at the Ethereum blockchain history.

A Fork in the cryptocurrency world is known as a change in that currency’s protocol. There are Hard Forks and Soft Forks.

Soft Forks can be implemented by the developers or creators of the cryptocurrency to perform certain maintenance works, modify something cosmetically without changing the actual structure of the protocol.

Hard Forks are an absolutely different story. They bring huge changes to the crypto ecosystem and significantly move the market. If the older version of a protocol continues to live on, it will result in a split from the new version. And that’s exactly what happened to Ethereum.

Ethereum ClassicEtherZero and Metropolis – these are the main three Ethereum Hard Forks. 

Ethereum has previously succeeded in pushing updates to the platform in batches. Byzantium and Constantinople – sub-sections of the massive Metropolis upgrade is an impressive example of such. Ethereum has decided to take the same approach and divided the Istanbul Fork into two parts.

Ethereum Classic

This is the very first and the most controversial Hard Fork that Ethereum had. At a certain point in time, the development team behind Ethereum noticed that the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that Ethereum had been using was hacked.

Ethereum enthusiasts divided into two camps. The first ones we’re happy that the team behind Ether was going to take quick action. However, a lot of people didn’t agree with the Fork. They saw this change as a violation of the fundamental meaning of “decentralized“. 

Anyway, Ethereum’s developers followed through with their decision to implement the Hard Fork. What was the outcome? Well, one cryptocurrency split into two. 

Ether Zero

EtherZero is another well-known Ethereum Fork. It’s not as extreme as Ethereum Classic – this one is aimed towards improvement rather than a revolution.

EtherZero aims to improve the transaction rate speeds that occur within the Ethereum network. Furthermore, this Ethereum Fork is determined to make these transactions completely free. EtherZero is also a “Proof of Work” based Fork – this means that the only truly effective way to mine it would be by using GPU types of rigs.

Metropolis

The Ethereum founders in the last quarter of 2017, decided to include some of the significant features to the Ethereum blockchain. The upgrade was named as Metropolis, but the feature list was massive, and single-time implementation would be a difficult task. Hence they decided to split the upgrade into two — Istanbul Byzantium and Constantinople.

There are a couple of key features that the Metropolis Ethereum Fork aims to improve.

First of all, during the extent of the Ethereum Metropolis Fork, a lot of the privacy-related features will get an overhaul. The current privacy settings and options that the Ethereum network has aren’t at all bad, but the new features will be up to date and will guarantee greater privacy during transactions.

Another huge change that the Ethereum Metropolis Fork aims to implement is a “Proof of Stake” consensus-based system, instead of the current “Proof of Work” one.

What’s next?

Ethereum Serenity or Ethereum 2.0 that is scheduled for January 2020. This creates a bit of anxiety as well as optimism as then two Ethereum 2.0 and Ethereum 1.0 are expected to be in the operation.

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