On Friday, Hudson Jameson, the Ethereum Foundation community manager said during an Ethereum development call:

“For anyone listening in who don’t know how this works, we pick a block number that we estimate to be around October 2. However, that might be one or two days behind or forward from that date based on how fast blocks are produced between now and then.”

The activation of testnet was targeted originally to take place on September 4, but it was later rescheduled for October 2; the report says the rescheduling was due to the enormous volume of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that are to be reviewed. 

Just six out of the 30 EIPs already deliberated by developers have become accepted and will be included in Istanbul plus eight more EIPs that are temporarily planned for a system-wide upgrade proceeding or hard fork now being referred to as “Berlin.”

There is no specific date set yet for and no block height has been indicated for the activation of mainnet; the lack of specification was deliberate, and this was due to the cautious sentiment arising from Ethereum developers regarding the premature commitment to the newly planned date for Istanbul.

The chief infrastructure engineer for Infura, an Ethereum startup, E.G., Galano, stated in the course of the meeting:

“One of the lessons learned in the [previous] Byzantium fork last year is that we shouldn’t try to set the testnet and mainnet fork at the same time. Let’s start with setting the testnet fork and see how that goes and find a period of stability before revisiting when to set the mainnet fork.”   

Current security audits 

Beyond the ongoing arguments over how some EIPs that were approved for Istanbul, the developers equally took time on Friday to deliberate on the outcomes of a security audit done initially by Least Authority, a security consulting firm about the proposed change to the ProgPoW mining algorithm. 

This issue has been on consideration for almost a year by developers. ProgPow is an EIP, and it is developed to block any kind of specialized mining developed for blocking ASICs, specialized mining hardware from taking part in the blockchain network and from competing in an annual market that worth an estimated amount of $655 million Ethereum’s mining rewards

A summary obtained from Liz Steininger, Least Authority’s CEO in the course of the meeting reads thus:

“On a high-level, [ProgPoW] reaches its design goals. It’s reasonable towards its intended economic effect. No major issues there. That said, we did find one [potential] attack … and had some recommendations about things that could be done to have better assurances of ProgPoW working as intended in the future.”  

Jameson said during another audit on ProgPoW that “[Bob Rao] is doing a very extensive hardware audit,” Jameson said. “Bob’s audit should be coming out very soon. It’s in final stages [and] is going to answer a lot more of the questions and speculations around ProgPoW.”

If there is no security concern to worry about, it is expected that developers will continue with the change in mining code activation in the following hard fork, Berlin. 

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