Qtum is preparing for its first hard fork since its inception back in September 2017. The system upgrade is focused on the underlying technology behind the protocol. Dubbed Qtum 2.0, it aims to integrate a number of functions and improvements to its blockchain.
On Oct. 17, 2019, at block 466,600, a system upgrade in the form of a hard fork will be activated on Qtum’s Mainnet. The improvements are based on a series of recommendations made by developers and community members that tackle certain aspects of its underlying technology.
Thus far, four different consensus-related Qtum Improvement Proposals (QIP) have been approved and will be included in the upcoming hard fork.
The first will add signature verification to the output script of the contract transaction. At the moment, addresses are required to have a small balance of QTUM in order to send and even receive any given amount of Qtum or QRC20 tokens. This upgrade will improve the user experience of transacting by allowing addresses to send and receive to smart contracts without QTUM balances.
The second upgrade will integrate precompiled contracts to the Qtum Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Adding these type of contracts simplifies the development process and reduces the amount of transaction fees (gas) that is spent when using smart contracts.
The third improvement to the Qtum protocol is directly related to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Since Qtum has never gone through a hard fork its version of the EVM is outdated. Thus, this upgrade will allow it to catch up with the new features that Byzantine and Constantinople have brought to Ethereum, enabling more complex applications.
Finally, Qtum will modify the difficulty adjustment algorithm of its proof-of-stake (PoS) protocol. The idea is to change the long block intervals to 128 seconds. This will increase the transaction speed on the network as well as improve block rewards for staking wallets by 12.5 percent.
CryptoSlate reached out to Jackson Belove, blockchain researcher at Qtum, who said that the code is now ready for launch after having been “extensively tested” over the last six months. However, the upgrade will only apply to Qtum Core wallets.
“The [upcoming] hard fork only applies to the Qtum Core wallets Qtum-Qt and qtumd, no other wallets. While updated wallets will make the hard fork automatically, users that don’t update in time will see their Qtum Core wallets disconnected from the main network, will not be able to make transactions, and (for staking wallets) may see their coins staked on a split chain, where they are difficult to recover,” explained Belove.
Despite the proximity of Qtum’s systemwide upgrade market movement for QTUM has been lackluster. In fact, it recently hit levels not seen since December 2018.
Qtum technical analysis
Qtum made it back to the $1.42 support level. This represents a complete retracement of the 312 percent price increase that this crypto experienced throughout the year. Although the bears seem to be in control, the upcoming hard fork may bring some bulls with it.
A double bottom could be forming on Qtum’s 1-day chart. This technical pattern develops at the end of a correction, signaling a change in trend and a reversal of momentum from bearish to bullish. If validated, Qtum could be preparing for a major price move that takes it to even higher price levels than the ones seen so far this year. Everything will depend on the success of Qtum 2.0 and whether the event stimulates buying pressure.
If Qtum is indeed bound for an upswing, it could find resistance on its way up around $2.14, $3.40 and $5.92. However, if the selling pressure behind this cryptocurrency increases it will likely make a new all-time low. Breaking below the $1.42 support cluster could trigger a 20 percent correction down to $1.13 or even lower.
Ready for launch
Qtum is on the cusp of its first hard fork, which will be directed at improving the underlying technology behind its protocol. It will add new smart contract capabilities, reduce long block spacing, and give staking wallets a 12.50 percent raise. As stated by Jackson Belove, the code is ready to be launched on the Qtum’s Mainnet after several months of “planning, preparation and testing.” The system upgrade will be activated on Oct. 17, 2019, and hopefully, will give Qtrum the boost it needs.