Team lead at the Ethereum Foundation Peter SZILAGYI has confirmed December 4 as the expected date for the forthcoming Istanbul hard fork of the Ethereum network. The developer wrote about this on his Twitter and indicated that Istanbul will take place at block 9069000.
Geth v1.9.7 (Quad Kicker) out, enabling the Istanbul hardfork for #Ethereum mainnet (block 9069000, targeted for the 4th of December)— Péter Szilágyi (@peter_szilagyi) 7 ноября 2019 г.
Among others we've shipped eth/64, a faster EVM, #golang 1.13.4 on all PPAs and almost done with DNS discovery! https://t.co/vlYHrSBWLp
The most important feature of Istanbul is the implementation of the new Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm, called "ProgPoW", which is designed to combat the benefits that ASIC miners have.
Ethereum developers decided to split the Istanbul implementation in two phases, starting with a version that includes six Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) for integration with the testnet in October.
Following the Constantinople update, which was completed in February of this year, Istanbul is the last hard fork before moving the network to Ethereum 2.0, which is intended to be the final update of Ethereum. The transition should take place in 2020. Ethereum 2.0, also known as Serenity, will switch the network to the PoS algorithm and should solve basic problems such as scalability, cost-effectiveness and security.