The new update is set to change the underlying Ethereum protocol in an effort to improve the system. For Ethereum users, the primary changes of the Constantinople upgrade will be multiple enhancements of network efficiency. It also addresses delay in the Ethereum “difficulty bomb” affecting mining hash power, and a decrease in the amount of ETH reward for mined block.
Ethereum difficulty bomb
The difficulty bomb was designed to secure transition of miners to Ethereum’s new Proof of Stake based consensus algorithm. It will enable a landmark shift in the currency away from its current Proof of Work protocol. PoS implementation has been delayed beyond the scheduled Constantinople upgrade, necessitating that the Ethereum developers also delay the difficulty bomb to avoid halting the current blockchain.
Ethereum Proof of Stake
Complete transition is expected to take 12 months, currently being referred to as the “ice age” period, providing Ethereum developers time to transition the currency to the Proof of Stake algorithm. It is to be noted, that to balance decrease of difficulty, the Constantinople update will include a reduction in Ethereum mining rewards, from its current level of 3 ETH to 2.