The Ethereum network is set to undergo a major update in the form of a hard fork, If all goes as planned the update will be effective on the 17th October. This update, known as Byzantium is due to be part of a larger overall upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain called Metropolis.

Hard forks can prove to be problematic in some cases and the Ethereum blockchain has split once before, creating Ethereum Classic. However, it is unlikely there will be any issues in this instance given that the updates Byzantium is hopefully going to bring about have been in the pipeline for some time now.

The Testing phase has begun for Byzantium and while it has been largely successful there has been one attack on the test-net, according to a malicious user filled “entire blocks with expensive spam contracts. However, Buterin dismissed the attack as “fairly inconsequential”. Therefore, it looks as though it is highly likely that the Byzantium code will be enforced at block 4,370,000 as planned.

If the upgrade is successful Byzantium is said to make the network lighter and faster, it should improve transaction speeds as well as added security features.

What does Byzantium mean for Ethereum?

If Byzantium does go ahead as planned, it will look to implement a total of 9 Ethereum improvement protocol’s (EIP). Included in the improvement protocol’s are upgrades to make the network lighter and faster to run as well as increasing the speed of transactions. There has also been a particular focus on security, both for users and with smart contracts.

It is unknown if there will be any more updates to follow and if there is how soon after they will be. However, if the nodes do transition smoothly we could potentially see an increase in the Ethereum price given that Bitcoin has stolen all the headlines today