What is Ethereum’s Metropolis Hard Fork?

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People active in the world of Ethereum are quite excited about the technology powering this ecosystem. The developers are working on the next milestone release for Ethereum, which goes by the name of Metropolis. It is time we take a closer look at what Metropolis brings to the table and how it will shake up the Ethereum world as a whole.

Metropolis Is The Next Ethereum Hard Fork

Although Ethereum does not have the best of track records when it comes to hard forks, the developers are quite optimistic about Metropolis. This milestone has been on the development roadmap for quite some time now, yet the project has had to be pushed back due to The DAO hack. Metropolis will offer some significant improvements to the Ethereum ecosystem, which can only be seen as a good thing.

First of all, the Ethereum protocol will be simplified, allowing novice users to get a more hands-on approach with this technology. It will also become possible for recipients to pay the gas cost for transactions, rather than only the sender. Plus, anonymization will be improved slightly, thanks to this change in the gas payment structure.

Light clients are an integral part of any cryptocurrency ecosystem. Not all users want to run a full wallet, some prefer a solution that synchronizes with the blockchain immediately. Metropolis will make light clients more secure, or at least try to do so once the hard fork goes live. A more than welcome change that will be appreciated by many Ethereum enthusiasts.

A lot more technical features will be implemented as well, although it remains a bit unclear as to how many of these upgrades will make it to the Metropolis release. Smaller updates can be added to the protocol at a later stage, as the ones requiring the hard fork are the top priority right now. Having the most important features in place will be the goal for the Metropolis development team, although no one is entirely sure when this hard fork will be implemented.

It is evident Metropolis will bring some aspects to Ethereum the community has requested for a while now. Addressing scalability, safety, and privacy are of the utmost priority for the Metropolis team, that much is certain. Enforcing better privacy protection through zk-SNARKs is quite an intriguing development as well. Moreover, the Ethereum developers are working together with the ZCash team to implement zero-knowledge proofs in the future.

On the scalability front, Metropolis will seemingly herald the introduction of proof-of-stake consensus. That is, assuming the proof-of-work mining difficulty bomb can be addressed by the developers. This particular feature makes it impossible to mine transactions over time, effectively forcing the switch to a new algorithm. However, due to The DAO hard fork implementation, this time bomb is ticking a lot faster than originally planned. All of this makes the switch to Metropolis even more important than before.

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