Byzantium, the first half of the Metropolis hard fork development upgrade on the Ethereum network, has gone live. The announcement of the action was posted by Ethereum founder via Twitter:

According to the Ethereum developers team, the Metropolis hard fork is due to occur late September.

In the same post, Buterin notes that Byzantium verified its first zk-snark proof.

The statement indicates that the potential for zero-knowledge proofs is real. Zero-knowledge cryptography is used as a method for verifying a ledger entry without revealing the identity of any parties.

The zk-snark proof has been identified as the only truly anonymous transaction, built on the principle promoted by the altcoin ZCash.

Metropolis changes

As Byzantium is released, it will provide a more robust and scalable framework for increased Ethereum throughput. The need for the upgrade has become more and more evident as large-scale corporations like Microsoft and Intel are developing applications built on the protocol.

The upgrade comes just days before the first block time increase to 30 seconds, previously scheduled for approximately Sept. 22 (the beginning of what is called the ‘Ethereum Ice Age’). The second half of the Metropolis upgrade, nicknamed Constantinople, is still pending.