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Ethereum London Hard Fork: EIP-1559, 3198, 3529, 3541, 3554 Upgrade

Ethereum is expected to upgrade to the London hard fork at block height 12,965,000 on August 4, 2021. The London upgrade includes 5 EIPs.

Ethereum History

Ethereum has four development stages, namely Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis and Serenity. The transition of these four stages is achieved through a hard fork. The first three stages are all adopted a proof-of-work (POW) system, while the last stage adopts a proof-of-stake (POS) system.

Serenity is the stage where the transition from Ethereum POW to POS is completed, and it also marks that Ethereum has truly reached the 2.0 stage. A key vision of ETH 2.0 is to make the Ethereum blockchain network more energy-efficient, fast, secure, and decentralized.

Five EIPs for London Hard Fork

EIP-1559: Fee market change for ETH 1.0 chain

EIP 1559 is the biggest reform that will be introduced in the ‘London’ upgrade. EIP 1559 was first proposed in 2019, and after many discussions and code implementations, it will finally be applied after the London fork. The main content of EIP 1559 is fee reform, which uses a different gas fee collection method from ETH 1.0.

At present, how much transaction fee is charged is set by the user. All the transaction fee will belong to the miner. The higher the fee, the faster the transaction will be packaged on the chain. Many transaction are unconformed because the fee is too low. When the network is congested, the fee will rise, and the number of pending transactions will also increase. Tokenview Ethereum blockchain explorer will enable you to check how many transctions unconfirmed. Please refer to: https://eth.tokenview.com/cn/pending.

Ethereum London Hard Fork

EIP 1559 will introduce the ‘base fee’, and the transaction fee is divided into two parts, the base fee and the miner’s tip. The base fee is the minimum cost required for the transaction, which is directly destroyed by the system, and the tips will give to the miners.

The base fee will track the gas price of the Ethereum network, and the gas price depends on the user's demand for block space. The new fee rules do not specify the gas limit of the block, the size can be flexibly changed, and the base fee can be adjusted according to the change.

EIP-3198: BASEFEE opcode

EIP 3198 adds the BASEFEE opcode, the purpose of which is to return the base fee of the current block. Smart contracts can also access the basic fee value, which helps to submit fraud proofs and create trust-free gas price derivatives.

EIP-3529: Reduction in refunds

The gas refund was originally intended to incentivize developers to clear the state when possible, but after the appearance of the Gas Token, the gas refund led to an increase in the size of the state. After the EIP 3529 upgrade, users can mint Gas Token when the gas price is low, and then destroy it when the gas price is high, and get a refund.

EIP-3541: Reject new contracts starting with the 0xEF byte

EIP 3541 lays the foundation for EIP 3540's EVM improvement proposal. EIP 3541 is implemented, and new contracts beginning with 0xEF bytecode will not be able to be deployed. Existing contracts will not be affected.

EIP-3554: Difficulty Bomb Delay to December 2021

EIP 3554 will postpone the difficulty bomb. Difficulty Bomb/Ice Age is a mechanism introduced by Ethereum to ‘freeze’ mining during the transition of the Ethereum network to proof of rights and interests. At that time, the Ethereum network will either successfully transition to proof-of-stake or upgrade again.