The third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and the leading smart contract platform, Ethereum is approaching the Constantinople hard fork. The hard fork is planned to take place around January 16, 2019, at block #7080000. This is notably the most awaited fork by the crypto community. The reason behind that is that this fork would kickstart other main upgrades in the pipeline such as Sharding and Casper.
It is to be noted that the hard fork was originally scheduled to take place in 2018 end but was called off by the Ethereum development team. The reason behind calling off the fork was the issues encountered during the Ropsten Testnet hard fork that ultimately resulted in a three-way fork. A core developer of Ethereum, Lane Rettig stated that there were problems with the limitations of Parity in comparison to Geth, in the post mortem report. He also mentioned that they had encountered a consensus bug in the Parity implementation of Ethereum.
The next Testnet fork was scheduled to take place on the Rinkeby Testnet, on January 9, 2019. Peter Szilagyi, a core developer of Ethereum Foundation, announced that the Testnet fork was successful. Post the Testnet, he stated that there was a clean split.
Presently, there are roughly twenty-four hours left for the network upgrade. Interestingly, the upgrade proposed the implementation of five Ethereum Improvement Protocols.
Furthermore, EIP 1234 is considered the most significant implementation. This would lead to the reduction of the total supply of new ETH from 20,300 ETH per day to 13,400 ETH per day, as per the Consensus report. This, in turn, signifies that the total number of new coins per year would fall from 7.4 million to 4.9 million. Furthermore, the inflation rate would drop from 7.7% to 4.8%, after the hard fork.