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Ethereum price analysis: Istanbul euphoria already over?

  •  The Istanbul fork happened on December 8 at block number 9,069,000.
  •  Users of the Parity Ethereum client faced a major issue as they were told to install an emergency patch to upgrade to the fork.
  •  The bears have knocked back all the gains that the bulls made post-fork.

Ethereum recently did the much-hyped Byzantium hard fork this Sunday, December 8. The fork happened at block number 9,069,000. Hard forks like these are integral to Ethereum’s development. Since the project is so vast, the developers had earlier decided to launch Ethereum is four stages – Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis and Serenity. The Metropolis hard fork was further subdivided into Byzantium and Constantinople. The Ethereum Foundation decided to do an extra fork called “Istanbul” prior to the Serenity update. The Istanbul hard fork itself will have two parts to it, with the second part of the fork coming around the first quarter of 2020.

What will Istanbul do?

The main objective of the Istanbul hard fork is to include more security fixes and incentives to move away from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake algorithm. The first part of the Istanbul hard fork will include six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), labeled 152, 1108, 1344, 1844, 2028 and 2200. EIP 1344 will make the system resilient against Denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. EIPs 1108, 2028, 220 will help reduce overall gas costs, while EIP 152 will increase Ethereum’s interoperability with equihash-based proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies such as Zcash.

What’s the aftermath of Istanbul?

Following the hard fork, the price of ETH/USD went up from $147.65 to $151 this Sunday. However, since then, the price has dropped back down to $147.50 as the bears have made a resounding comeback. The hash rate has also dropped from 172.741 Thrash/s, which is the lowest since July 2019. This is particularly worrying because, in a proof-of-work system like Ethereum, the speed and security of the network are directly proportional to its hash rate.

Also, Parity, one of the most important Ethereum clients, announced that their users would need to apply an emergency patch before upgrading to the fork. 23% of Ethereum’s network runs using Parity. As such, not only did this delay the upgrade, but it could have also potentially caused a chain split.