Another Ethereum hard fork is upon us. You know what that means — time to update your nodes! Ethereum’s program of continuous innovation makes critical improvements to the network. These improvements result in new protocol upgrades, like the upcoming Istanbul Fork. This upgrade brings improvements in layer 2 performance, increased resilience against DDoS attacks, greater interoperability between Ethereum and Zcash, and enables more inventive functions within contracts.

On October 2 Eastern Time, Ethereum will implement Istanbul for the Ropsten Testnet (10.2). This will be followed by Görli in late October, Rinkeby in November and Kovan in December. The mainnet implementation is due to take place in the first months of 2020.

To retain the ability to verify and confirm new blocks on the Ethereum blockchain, all nodes in the network must upgrade to the main consensus before January 2020.

Running Your Own Node? Get Fork-Ready.

Ethereum is a peer-to-peer network. That means that anyone who wants to run Ethereum infrastructure will need to update their software to an Ethereum client version that is “fork-ready”. These software versions are due for release in late September. If you “miss the fork” and fail to upgrade your software in time, you’ll no longer have an accurate view into the source of blockchain data. You’ll need to resynchronize your node with the blockchain, a process that could take hours or days.

If you’re running your own node, you can get “fork-ready” by taking the following steps:

  1. Regularly check client pages for the software update announcement:
  • Geth
  • Parity
  • Besu
  • Trinity
  • Nethermind;

2. Review the fork updates to determine if any changes are needed in your applications, or if any users will be impacted;

3. Update your node prior to the fork block.

Using Infura? No Changes Required.

If you’re an Infura user, don’t worry — we’re ready. There’s no action needed from you. Infura has been running reliable Ethereum infrastructure for over three years and we’re adept at handling large-scale updates during network hard forks. We’ll take care of the upgrade so you can continue building great software.

As always, we’re here to help. If you have any questions about the upgrade, please reach out to the team via our Community page or drop us an email at [email protected].