According to developer Péter Szilágyi., the Constantinople hard fork has been set for block number 7,280,000 and scheduled to take place February 27th, 2018.
Szilágyi reported via twitter that the proposal was made during a core developer phone call on Friday morning. Participants of the call included Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and other developers, including Afri Schoedon, Hudson Jameson, Lane Rettig, Péter Szilágyi, Martin Holste Swende, Danny Ryan and Alexey Akhunov.
A new date for the Constantinople hard fork was needed after smart contract audit firm, ChainSecurity reported a security issues in one of the five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) set for inclusion in Constantinople activation. The affected EIPS related to data storage costs on the blockchain.
Ethereum’s Constantinople upgrade had been expected this month. However, the auditors found a security vulnerability in EIP 1283, a loophole in the code that might have made it possible to steal user funds. Speaking on a call, the Ethereum team, along with the developers of clients and other network projects, agreed to temporarily delay the hard fork until the issue was resolved.
The new plan means Constantinople will be issued in two separate upgrades. The first upgrade will include all five original EIPs. The second will specifically remove EIP 1283. Both upgrades will be delivered simultaneously on the main network.
Any new code or upgrade the team develops will need to be tested and refashioned for inclusion in additional hard fork. Test networks and private networks need to be implemented prior to the Constantinople hard-fork, so that the fix can be implemented without having to roll back any blocks.
It was Péter Szilágyi who came up with the current plan.
“My suggestions,” he said during the call, “is to define two hard forks, Constantinople as it is currently and the Constantinople fix up which just disables this feature…By having two forks everyone who actually upgraded can have a second fork to actually downgrade so to speak.”
According to Matthias Egli, COO of ChainSecurity, the issue likely went unnoticed by core developers when testing the software, as the issue impacted smart contract development, and not necessarily the “[Ethereum virtual machine] core”.A prompt resolution to the issue was needed due to the prolonged activation of Ethereum’s difficulty bomb, the code that continually increases block time over time. The bomb was delayed to encourage transition to the consensus algorithm known as proof-of-stake (PoS). The Constantinople upgrade will include EIP 1234, which will delay the difficulty bomb for 12 months.