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Ethereum’s Major Upgrade “Istanbul” Sees First-two Approved EIPs

Two Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), EIP 2024 and EIP 1702 have been recognized for Istanbul, the next ethereum major upgrade drafted to take effect in October.

While other EIPs are left pending, unarguably the two EIPs marks the first two code changes officially approved for the Ethereum upgrade, which will activate on ethereum Mainnet as a trial.

The news is coming in a time when developers in today’s bi-weekly call, had a panel regarding the EIPs that will be approved or rejected among the 30 listed EIPs for the Istanbul upgrade which is seen a hard fork.

The change code, EIP 2024, also known as EIP 131 in some documents, will add a new precompile to the ethereum virtual machine. While EIP 2024 adds a precompile for a new hash function dubbed “Blake2.” The Black2 is said to be verified and authenticate blockchain data faster than any other traditional hash functions seen on ethereum including SHA-3.

One of the three authors behind EIP 2014, James Hancock noted that “Blake2B means that we could interop with Zcash on the ethereum main network.”

Blake2 is already being employed by several cryptocurrency projects including the domain-name platform Handshake, and privacy coin Zcash. The EIP 2024 also will feature a new precompile for another version of Blake2 called “Blake2B.”

Decentralized applications (dApps) running on ethereum blockchain are solely on long-process virtually immutable, self-executing lines of code known as smart contracts.

EIP 1702, authored by Parity Technologies developer, Wei Tang, is believed to address the issue through smoother smart contract upgradability. EIP 1702 features WebAssembly code, which will allow developers to execute programming language and performance seamlessly.

Additionally, EIP 1702 suggests adding a new methodology for hard forks called “account versioning.” The idea is purported to make the upgrading and introduction of new virtual machines in ethereum easier.

“By allowing account versioning, we can execute different virtual machine for contracts created at different times. This allows breaking features to be implemented while making sure existing contracts work as expected,” Wei Tang added.

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