A Long-Awaited Improvement
We now have a timeframe for when one of the most anticipated events in the world of cryptocurrencies is going to occur.
Last week, the Ethereum team announced that their Metropolis hard fork will take place toward the end of September 2017. The announcement comes roughly six months after the company revealed their 2017 Road Map and less than a month following bitcoin's split into bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
This fork will implement a number of changes and improvements, including higher levels of anonymous transactions, easier programming and smart contracts, and additional security in the form of masking, which will help protect users against hacking.
The upgrade was expected to include a "Difficulty-Bomb" that would make ether token mining harder to perform, but according to the Ethereum team update, that will now be added as part of a second hard fork at a later date.
The news of a implementation date for Ethereum's hard fork is drawing a great deal of attention and speculation from industry experts, who aren't certain how the market will react to the change.
In the announcement post, the Ethereum team addresses this uncertainty, noting that prices could increase or decrease. Previous upgrades and forks have lead to the former, which, in turn, led to surges in ether mining. A similar chain reaction could come as a result of this fork, they explain.
Metropolis isn't the final planned update for Ethereum. The next upgrade, known as Serenity, is expected to "bring the breakthrough to the mainstream," but Ethereum has yet to share a release date for that upgrade.
When it was first announced in February, a release date for Metropolis was set for three to six months. The actual September release will arrive just a bit later, so the Ethereum team may need some time before they're ready to shake things up again with Serenity.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.