If you own ETH, you may be wondering what the upcoming hard fork is and if it will affect you. Since hard forks can involve major changes in a network’s source code, they can be daunting and even result in new tokens as was the case with ETC.
For the Ethereum blockchain to reach its full potential, it's been divided into 4 scheduled phases of gradual improvement, ultimately shifting from a PoW (Proof-of-Work) to PoS (Proof-of-Stake) protocol. Fortunately, Constantinople (and the associated Petersberg) is a scheduled fork of the Metropolis phase and expected to proceed without issue.
So for this article we’ll focus less on the technical underpinnings, and what you need to know as an ETH trader.
When is the fork taking place?
Although it’s been delayed before, the fork is now expected to take place at the end of this month on block # 7,280,000 - tentatively Feb 25th. Its main purpose is to improve the Ethereum network’s efficiency and restructure the commission system, coming with five EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals).
What will happen to ETH I hold?
Nothing at all. Your ETH will remain in your wallet or online exchange accounts. All the node providers (Etherscan, Quiknode, Infura) and major exchanges will upgrade their nodes and software so end users will barely notice a thing.
After the nodes have been updated, the old blockchain gradually ceases to exist and your ETH will only exist on the new chain.
How will trading on exchanges be affected?
Many leading exchanges – including those integrated into Quadency like Coinbase, Binance, OKEx, and KuCoin – have come out in support of Constantinople and plan to update their software upon the fork’s completion. By providing any necessary technical assistance for the network upgrade, it should be a smooth transition that doesn't interrupt trading. As an extra measure to ensure security of users’ assets, some exchange such as Cex.io announced that trades involving ETH may be temporarily suspended just before the fork.
Being a planned fork, no major price movement is expected. But as you’ll see from the chart above on Feb 17th, there may be some investor optimism on the impact these overall network improvements will have.
What do I need to do?
In short, nothing. Since the hard fork is scheduled and there is consensus across the Ethereum network, Constantinople is unlikely to lead to the creation of new tokens. Forked tokens are only created when the hard fork is not agreed upon by a majority of network participants.
In the very unlikely scenario of forked tokens being created, supported exchanges accounts with ETH would be automatically credited with the new tokens. And if your exchange account is linked to Quadency, any new tokens would automatically be reflected in your Quadency dashboard.