Ethereum: EIP-1559 is ‘almost’ mainnet-ready, hard fork expected in summer

  • The controversial EIP-1559 to reduce the gas fee on the Ethereum network is expected to be released summer 2021.
  • The implementation will split gas into two parts, the base fee and the tip, with the base fee being burned.

As Ethereum Core Developer Tim Beiko revealed yesterday via Twitter, the controversial EIP-1559 could be coming sooner than expected. The EIP, which is known as the “Fee market change for ETH 1.0 chain“, was originally proposed by Vitalik Buterin himself to address the problem of high gas fees.

The proposal involves a transaction pricing mechanism that includes a fixed network fee per block that is burned and dynamically expands/decreases the block size to deal with temporary congestion. For this purpose, the gas is divided into two parts: the base fee and the tip. The base fee portion is burned and the tip is sent to the miner.

Not at all surprisingly, ETH miners are rather skeptical about the proposal. Given the current bull run and booming DeFi sector, miners are currently making immense profits from fees alone. For several analysts, a reduction in fees could therefore hurt miner interest and harm the network.

Will Ethereum have lower fees by summer?

Nonetheless, it looks like EIP-1559 will be implemented in 2021. The only question seems to be “when.” As the Ethereum researchers at @lightclients explained via Twitter, after the Berlin hard fork, “based on recent ACD calls,” another fork seems likely sometime this summer. The EIP candidates for this fork are numerous, with EIP-1559 standing out in particular, according to the researchers.

As for the current state of EIP-1559, developers such as Abdelhamid Bakhta (ConsenSys) and Tim Beiko (ACD) agree that the EIP is nearly “mainnet-ready.” While Bakhta points out that the implementation is being done in three clients (Besu, Geth, Nethermind) and that there are already integration and size tests, Beiko stated yesterday that other teams still need to test the protocol.

Because of this, EIP-1559 will not be released with the Berlin hard fork, which was originally planned for January. Beiko stated:

FWIW I disagree 1559 is ready to ship now. Shared my thoughts on the discord, but TL;DR:

1. Not all clients have an implementation, none has a “final” one;

2. We still haven’t addressed the main pushback from AllCoreDevs (testing large blocks with large state). ETA: a few weeks

3. 1559 will affect a _lot_ of projects: anything that signs transactions, depends on JSON RPC responses for blocks/txns/etc. We need to communicate the changes broadly.

4. Berlin is almost done. Dropping everything to ship 1559 wouldn’t be a huge speedup.

Further, however, Beiko also noted that he has captured the things that need to be done to deliver EIP 1559 in the “Mainnet Readiness” checklist. In addition, an implementers’ call will be held this week with a series of updates. When asked for a concrete timeframe, Beiko said that EIP-1559 will take place “more likely 3 months” than a month after the Berlin Hard Fork. He also emphasized that there is also “no reason” to deliver the EIP 6-12 months after Berlin.

About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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