According to Coin Telegraph, the Ethereum Foundation and other developers in the Ethereum community are ready to launch the first iteration of the Metropolis hardfork proposal by next week. The hardfork will be executed in two separate phases. The first iteration of the Metropolis hardfork will be called the Byzantine hardfork, which aims to minimize the amount of actions from bad actors within the Ethereum ecosystem. A bad actor within an economic system is an individual, or group of individuals, that attempts to disrupt, dismantle, or destroy the system they are located in. An example of a bad actor would be a hacker attempting to clog the Ethereum network and slow down transactions. There are numerous reasons somebody would want to do this, such as an Ethereum competitor that wants to make Ethereum look bad. The byzantine hardfork will be integrated into Ethereum’s testnet on block number 1,700,000.
Why is this hardfork so important? Because it provides an improvement to the Ethereum network and provides a more efficient, robust, and secure infrastructure for decentralized applications (dApps) and developers. Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, believes that now all that’s left for Ethereum is to improve its scalability. Scalability becomes important as more and more users exist and transact on the Ethereum network. Being able to do thousands of transactions in a day is very different from doing thousands of transactions in a second. For example, the Visa network handles on average 2,000 transactions per second. In order to be a worldwide payment tool, Ethereum should be able to handle the same amount of transactions per second as the Visa network and this is the issue that the Metropolis hardfork is attempting to address. Buterin previously explained the issue of scalability in a tweet, stating that:
“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.”
After successfully testing the Byzantine hardfork, the Ethereum Foundation and its developers will be able to streamline the integration of the second phase of the Metropolis hard fork. This is a major step for the Ethereum foundation, as Metropolis allows for scaling the Ethereum network efficiently for millions of users. In an interview with Coin Telegraph, Buterin reaffirmed his view on focusing on improving the technology behind Ethereum, stating that:
“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”
My price prediction of Ethereum after the Metropolis update is $350, which represents an almost 25% upside from Ethereum’s current price of $282. The Metropolis hardfork will allow for an increase in scalability for projects, which in turn will lead to an increase in creating applications on the Ethereum network from large corporations.