As Péter Szilágyi, team lead at the Ethereum Foundation, tweeted yesterday, the Ethereum hard fork dubbed Istanbul is expected to arrive at block 9069000 on Dec. 4.
He also shared a link to the newest release of Geth, a client used to run nodes on Ethereum. The latest release, Geth v1.9.7, initializes the Ethereum mainnet Istanbul hard fork, and Péter recommended updating Geth nodes to the latest version as soon as possible.
Istanbul is the latest hard fork on the way to Ethereum 2.0, which will start rolling out in 2020. Istanbul will introduce six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that will enable Ethereum and Zcash to interoperate, optimize gas costs, make layer 2 solutions based on SNARKs and STARKs more performant, and address scalability. In early October, the Istanbul hard fork was activated on Ropsten Testnet. Back then, the Ethereum testnet forked into two separate chains after miners failed to upgrade to Istanbul.
As COIN360 reported earlier, Ethereum 2.0 validators (users who stake on the network) could earn up to 10.3% in annual returns for their locked-up Ethereum. However, Vitalik Buterin’s proposals could lead to higher hardware costs for potential Ethereum 2.0 validators.