Ethereum’s most recent system-wide network upgrade, dubbed “Istanbul,” is now live. It implements six different Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs), which aim to enhance performance on the public blockchain while introducing new ways for developers to create smart contract-based decentralized applications (DApps).

Developers have already delivered a slew of DApps that are  available for free on the Apple or Google Play stores. They include products and services across multiple industries, from finance to music to gaming and social networking, that allow users to get loans, find work, manage digital assets, buy art and license music, among other offerings.

Ethereum’s new – Istanbul update allows the ETH blockchain to interoperate with privacy coin protocol Zcash. The upgrade is a hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain, making it a backwards incompatible update that will no longer support older versions of Ethereum’s codebase.

A total of seven hard forks have been performed on the Ethereum network. They include Constantinople, Spurious Dragon and Byzantium.

Istanbul comes with six major updates.

EIP-152Improves interoperability between Ethereum and the Zcash protocol, which helps enhance the former’s privacy features.

EIP-1108Aims to enhance Ethereum’s network performance and may allow for greater scalability.  

EIP-1344 – Aims to  reduce human errors that can lead to loss of funds or relay attacks.

EIP-1884Aims to provide better resource management on the Ethereum network.

EIP-2028Aims to deliver higher bandwidth, thus achieving increased scalability.

EIP-2200 Introduces new capabilities for smart contracts. 

The Istanbul upgrade might not be immediately noticeable to regular users; however, ETH miners or full-node operators must update their clients to the latest version, in order to run the most recent version of Ethereum.

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