Ethereum’s Istanbul hard fork is going to be held on Saturday, 7th Dec 2019. This Istanbul hard fork update involves specific changes in the Ethereum network.
The main focus of this upgrade would be on the improvement of Ethereum’s privacy, scalability, and better sidechain support. Here are these changes that would take place during this upgrade.
Zero-knowledge Cryptographic Technology
In this upgrade, Ethereum would be looking to update the Zero-knowledge cryptographic technology that is responsible for the privacy of ERC-based tokens. Also, this technology improves Ethereum’s scalability by using off-chain solutions.
Earlier before, this zero-knowledge cryptographic technology has been regarded as a future and positive addition to the Ethereum protocol.
Six Ethereum improvement Proposals
This upcoming Ethereum Istanbul hard fork aims to add six Ethereum improvement proposals out of thirty. These proposals will enable smart contract developers to introduce new features including privacy protocol and side-chain scaling to the Ethereum chain.
Among these six proposals, first is EIP-1108. This usually optimizes routines for the elliptic curve arithmetic. The main purpose of this proposal is to change the computational pricing for the elliptic curve algorithms.
These changes are considered important for several projects building on this platform. For instance, AZTEC protocol and ZEther implement zero-knowledge proofs and confidential transactions. This AZTEC protocol provided by the proposal is regarded as an effective reduction by the team:
It currently costs 820,000 gas to validate the cryptography in a typical AZTEC confidential transaction. If the gas schedule for the precompiles correctly reflected their load on the Ethereum network, this cost would be 197,000 gas [about $0.23 at current average gas prices].
EIP-152 is the second proposal that allows direct integrations with the Zcash privacy coin. This upgrade involves the advanced versions of Blake2b hash functions.
The next optimization proposal is EIP-2028 to benefit the zero-knowledge based system. This upgrading proposal decreases the gas cost of Call data and allows an increase in the bandwidth of data transfer.
In order to improve security, the EIP-1344 proposal is used that will bring a new method that will be used to return the ID of the current chain.
The last two Ethereum improvement proposals are EIP-2200 and EIP-1884. These are responsible for improving the structure of gas and for re-pricing different functions respectively.
Ethereum Istanbul hard fork will improve its privacy, scalability, and also the side-chain support. For this purpose, Ethereum would be upgrading six proposals and Zero-knowledge cryptography technology.