Ethereum Gets an Upgrade

Digital currency Ethereum successfully upgraded to the Byzantium protocol on Monday, signaling that the larger Metropolis project is proceeding on track.

Ethereum Hard Fork

Ethereum’s developer community has indicated that the recent software upgrade is running smoothly so far. The fifth hard fork in the Ethereum blockchain officially occurred at 05:22 UTC, about 45 minutes earlier than previously estimated. The upgrade was scheduled for block 4,370,000.

Debates about the merits of the proposed changes were few and far between, with developers generally optimistic about the new protocol. Last-minute bugs, including a DoS vulnerability, appear to have been adequately addressed by Ethereum’s software developers.

Byzantium is the first leg of the Metropolis upgrade, which is the third phase of the Ethereum development project. It was also the first major upgrade since ether’s value skyrocketed. This made developers even more cautious about safeguarding the value of the token without stoking am unexpected chain split.

As we’ve explained previously, hard forks are a boon to ether prices due to the positive impact of the upgrade on the developer community. Ethereum has emerged not only as a store of value for investors seeking alternative assets, but a platform for entrepreneurs to launch their own digital currencies. The vast majority of the projects listed on’s ICO Ratings page have beem built on the Ethereum network. This trend is expected to continue as more startups embrace the platform’s technical specifications in pursuit of their own digital currency. ICOs have raised billions this year, despite regulatory crackdowns globally.

Ether continues to trade above $340.00 following the hard fork. The token has been well supported over the past week, with the broader cryptocurrency market following bitcoin’s lead.

The next phase of the Metropolis rollout is Constantinople. However, no date for its implementation has been specified.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi