According to Jordan Daniell of ETHNews, the Metropolis hard fork is set to be executed in two separate phases. The first iteration of the Metropolis hard fork is called the Byzantine hard fork, a solution that is expected to minimize the actions of bad actors within the Ethereum ecosystem. The Byzantine hard fork will be integrated into Ethereum’s testnet on block number 1,700,000, which could be as early as Sept. 18.
In previous interviews with Cointelegraph, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin emphasized the necessity of a network improvement and the execution of a hard fork in order to provide a more efficient, secure and robust infrastructure for decentralized applications (dapps) and developers.
Need for more robust protocol
Over the past 12 months, an increasing number of multi-billion dollar financial institutions, Fortune 500 conglomerates and dapp developers have entered the Ethereum ecosystem through various consortia such as the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Companies like JPMorgan, Microsoft, Intel and BBVA are actively developing applications on top of the Ethereum protocol to automate their operations and develop new infrastructures based on the immutable Blockchain network of Ethereum.
For the Ethereum network to support all of the incoming large-scale dapps in the near future, especially many dapps that are set to be commercialized and implemented to larger platforms, developers will require a more robust protocol to work with.
As Buterin previously explained:
“The applications are there. See: UN world food program, identity, supply chain, prediction markets, decentralized Reddit/Twitter, mesh nets. All are on backburner now precisely because scalability is not there. I personally have cut down evangelism precisely because I see that the main bottleneck is now not interest, but tech.”
Although only the Byzantine hard fork will be tested on Ethereum’s testnet in early next week, a successful testing process of the Byzantine hard fork will allow the Ethereum Foundation and its developers to streamline the integration of the second phase of the Metropolis hard fork. Once the Metropolis hard fork is completed, it would allow most of the decentralized applications Buterin mentioned in the statement above to be commercialized and to be launched in a scalable and efficient ecosystem.
In an interview with Cointelegraph in April, Buterin noted that the Ethereum Foundation will continue to improve the core protocol of Ethereum. Once more companies and users develop and explore additional use cases, then the scalability and flexibility of the EThereum network would allow large Blockchain applications to be tested in various industries.
“There are a few perspectives. First of all, we will keep developing the technology and solving pressing challenges, some of them we already started working on, but there is still a lot to be done, including scaling, confidentiality, security issues. These issues need to be solved to ensure further development of the protocol and the whole ecosystem. Besides, we are focusing on the expansion of the system – to make sure that more projects are building on top of Ethereum, more companies and users working with the platform, exploring new use cases,” said Buterin.
Many experts including Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam stated that scalability is a major issue for Ethereum if it intends to support large decentralized applications with millions of users. Metropolis is a major step towards scaling the Ethereum network efficiently.