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Geth Releases Software Update Ahead of Ethereum ‘Byzantium’ Hard Fork

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A new version of ethereum’s Geth node software has been released, which includes support for the upcoming “Byzantium” upgrade as well as a series of performance enhancements.

Named Megara, the freshly-coded Geth release has been reformatted to include all improvements developed for Byzantium, which forms the first of two parts in the wider “Metropolis” update. Ethereum is currently on target to activate the Byzantium hard fork within the next month.

It notably includes a formal block number for the launch of Byzantium on Ropsten, the ethereum testnet. Previously set for September 18, the block number is now officially 1,700,000, which looks likely to be reached in roughly seven days.

On top of featuring compatibility with the Byzantium improvements, new performance enhancements have been introduced to the software. Among those are steps to cut the amount of data storage required by a node from 26.3GB to 14.9GB – making ethereum significantly lighter to run. Updated nodes will also be able to process contracts faster, with filtering times reduced from minutes to under a second.

Some updates are yet to be finalized, but promise to eventually reduce the bandwidth requirement of the underlying peer-to-peer protocol from 33.6GB to 13.5GB. Further, a memory-caching improvement should increase in speed by a “couple orders of magnitude,” the release states.

Megera also includes an improved transaction pool. In the earlier version of Geth, high-paying transactions were prioritized indiscriminately – but, in this new version, a Geth user’s own transaction will always receive priority, regardless of whether it contains fewer funds.

For enhanced security, new protective measures on the transaction disk enforce that a backup be created for local transactions in case of a node crashing. Further, Geth will now also support the Trezor line of hardware wallets.

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