Ethereum forks coming in 2019 and Beyond
There are a few Ethereum forks coming in 2019. These include the long planned Constantinople upgrade, ETH Classic Vision (ETCV), and Ethereum Nowa coming Jan 2019.
NOTE: I’ll keep a running list on this page as future forks are announced. For now only Constantinople matters until we get to the planned Serenity upgrade.
IMPORTANT: Recent reporting is claiming that both ETCV and ETN are scams that are stealing people’s ETH. Below I explain how to protect against this, but for now you should simply avoid both of these forks and focus on the legit Constantinople fork. When more forks are announced, we’ll cover each, but I’m going to leave the scam forks here so you can know what you are up against next time.
So first off, the only one of these that is a 100% confirmed as legit fork that you should care about is Constantinople.
This is the next expected upgrade to Ethereum as defined in the Ethereum roadmap, and it has the general consensus of the Ethereum community behind it.
Constantinople is not meant to produce “free coins” or a new chain, it is just a planned upgrade to take Ethereum one step closer to being its 2.0 future self.
Now, on top of this we have two dev teams apparently trying to cash in on the excitement [remember, it was later reported that these are scams].
- We have ETH Classic Vision (ETCV), who built a website, and plans to fork Jan 11.
- And we have Ethereum Nowa (ETN), who has a Twitter running, and plans to fork Jan 16.
Nowa also has a pre-sale going on.
For me I have a rule of thumb when it comes to forks like this:
- If a hard fork happens as part of a planned update, don’t forget to update your node if you run your own node.
- If the fork arises from a legit community split, like with Bitcoin Cash, take it very seriously and make sure you are in a wallet where you control your private keys, or on an exchange or third party wallet that supports the fork, for the fork.
- Take all forks seriously otherwise, for example by being in a wallet where you control your private keys for the fork, but expect NOTHING.
- Always follow best practices and protect yourself from malicious software. This means moving all funds out of your ETH wallet before you try to claim forked coins.
In this case, I 100% take Constantinople very seriously, as we all should. It is a real and legit fork.
For Constantinople, users need to do nothing if they are on an exchange or trusted third party wallet, and they need to update to the new software if they are running their own node (their own full software wallet, the type where you have to download a really big blockchain, like Ethereum Wallet).
You don’t have to move your funds for Constantinople, there is nothing to claim.
For the other forks, users need to be in a wallet where they control their private keys, and then after the snapshot block move ALL of their ETH and non-ETH tokens out of their existing ETH wallet and into a new one, and then use their private keys to claim the forked coin when MainNet of the new coin launches.
Or at least, that should be the case in theory if these are legit forks.
In general there is no reason to ever send coins to developers during a fork: In a normal fork you don’t have to send anyone any funds, you just have to protect your own funds by moving them to a fresh wallet before claiming your forked coins. In an ICO you can buy tokens, and thus you do have to send coins. It is not impossible for a developer to fork a coin and run an ICO at the same time, but to be honest any fork requesting you send them coins is a giant red flag.
Don’t chase forks, they are usually cash grabs: 9 out of 10 times forks like Nowa and ETCV are cash grabs (speaking in terms of the history of forks). Forks like this are often pre-mined, and don’t trade on major exchanges, and launch in tandem with lots of malware wallets waiting to steel coins from confused users. It is almost never worth chasing forks like these. However, if you know what you are doing or if you carefully follow best practices, there really is no harm in taking a chance, controlling your private keys during these forks, and then moving your funds. UPDATE: Since these ended up being scams meant to steal coins, you can see why this advice on protecting your funds is so vital!
How to ensure you are in for the ETH forks: You can do something simple like move your ETH to a MyEtherWallet address where you control your private key for the forks, then move your funds out after the forks while retaining your private key, then when the new forked MainNet’s launch you would download the official wallet software from those forks and import your private key from the wallet you had your ETH on during the fork (after downloading the new blockchain).
Will exchanges support the other ETH forks? I really don’t know. Binance said it would support the Constantinople fork. That is good… but of course, every exchange should support Constantinople… because Constantinople is simply an agreed on and mandatory Ethereum upgrade.
Bottomline: Constantinople is a big deal, be excited! It is not about getting something for free, it is about taking the Ethereum network one step closer to glory. No need to move your coins or do anything fancy for that one unless you run your own node (in which case, update your software). For the other forks, don’t hold your breath, but if you want to take a chance, you now know how to do it.
"Upcoming Ethereum Forks" contains information about the following Cryptocurrencies: