Ethereum Approaches Metropolis: What Investors Should Know
Editorial Note: Since the publication of this article, the Ethereum Metropolis hard fork has been moved. It is currently scheduled to take place on October, 16 at block 4,370,000.
Last week was certainly an exciting week for digital currency.
China's ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) sent the market into a tailspin on Sunday. Before the news broke, Bitcoin hit an all-time high and Ethereum was nearing its all-time high.
Of course, China's regulation move wasn't surprising.
Considering that the digital currency market now boasts a market cap over $150 billion, regulation was inevitable. China's move was followed by announcements from Russia and South Korea that they would also be looking into ICO regulation.
Yet, despite all this frenzied action and investor panic, the digital currency market is still developing.
Right now, the market is experiencing a lot of hype.
But there are also a lot of opportunities — specifically from the digital currencies making significant technology advancements.
And one such advancement is coming down the pike for Ethereum.
It's called Metropolis, and it's a highly anticipated update that will improve the Ethereum network.
The changes that will be made to Ethereum during the Metropolis update will help with mass adoption and increase user security.
Metropolis could also set off a price rally. The last time Ethereum experienced a network update (Homestead), the token's price moved upward over 100%
From Homestead to Metropolis: What Investors Should Know
Many investors forget that Ethereum is still a developing technology. It will require modification to keep up with a growing user base.
Ethereum will end up having four network upgrades. Two of these updates — Frontier and Homestead — have already taken place.
Metropolis is tentatively expected at the end of Septemeber, 2017. Below is a timeline of Ethereum's other network updates.
- Prerelease Step 0 — Olympic testnet, launched May 2015.
- Release Step One — Frontier, launched July 30, 2015.
- Release Step Two — Homestead, launched March 14, 2016 (Pi Day).
- Release Step Three — Metropolis, launch TBA.
- Release Step Four — Serenity, launch TBA.
Now, from a price perspective, Ethereum does seem to rally around these milestones.
Let's take a look at Homestead, the Ethereum update that took place on March 15th.
Leading up to the Homestead release, Ethereum rallied 172% — moving from $12 in mid-February to a new high of $30 by March 14th:
With Metropolis, the Ethereum network will experience a hard fork.
This will not create a new coin like the Bitcoin hard fork did. The Bitcoin hard fork was the result of a long civil war in the Bitcoin community.
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This Ethereum fork was agreed upon in Ethereum's development stages, meaning no one should mine on the old fork.
Metropolis will help push Ethereum closer to Proof of Stake (PoS). This is a large event in the digital currency world, and when it happens, Ethereum will be transitioned away from the mining model (Proof of Work).
Metropolis Brings Ethereum One Step Closer to the Big Time
For Ethereum to be successful, especially in the throngs of similar decentralized currencies, it needs to operate efficiently and attract developer and individual attention.
Metropolis will help with this. Metropolis aims to tackle and tighten Ethereum's existing user security issues. Users will be able to perform more anonymous transactions.
It will also make Ethereum's key technology, smart contracts, easier to program and work with.
These are big updates, and hopefully, they'll help Ethereum overcome some of the bigger hurdles it's faced since the crypto interest boom at the start of the year.
If you are interested in learning more about digital currency, make sure to check out our associated digital currency reports and resource pages.
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