So we have had a lot of posts about the August 4th upgrade coming up terms like London and EIP 1559 are being thrown around a lot so here is an little look at what’s to come with these upgrades.
So London is what’s being talked about a lot this includes a fair few EIP upgrades listed below each linking you to the Ethereum improvement proposals blog for more information as each has a lot of information.
* [EIP-1559: Fee market change for ETH 1.0 chain](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-1559)
* [EIP-3198: BASEFEE opcode](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-3198)
* [EIP-3529: Reduction in refunds](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-3529)
* [EIP-3541: Reject new contracts starting with the 0xEF byte](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-3541)
* [EIP-3554: Difficulty Bomb Delay to December 1st 2021](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-3554)
Or here for if you want a quick glimpse
One of the most anticipated changes to Ethereum, EIP-1559 is the largest change that will be introduced in London. The EIP will introduce a “base fee” in blocks on the network which will track the gas price that the network will accept from transactions based on demand for blockspace. This means that it will be easier for wallets and users to estimate what the right price for their transaction should be. Additionally, EIP-1559 adds a new transaction type where users can specify the maximum fee they are willing to pay, along with the maximum they are willing to send to the miner, and get a refund for the difference between that maximum and the base fee and miner tip. Finally, the EIP will also cause part of the transaction fees to be burnt, which is something that a large part of the community see as a critical improvement to the Ethereum network’s economics.
This EIP is a companion EIP to EIP-1559. It simply adds an opcode, BASEFEE, which returns the value of the base fee for the block it is executed in. This will enable smart contracts to access this value on chain, which can help with submitting fraud proofs and creating thrustless gas price derivatives. For a full overview of the proposal.
Another significant change introduced in London is the removal of gas refunds from SELFDESTRUCT and reduction of refunds for SSTORE. While the refunds were originally intended to incentivize developers to clear the state when possible, in practice they have led to an increased state size with the invention of Gas Tokens. Using these refunds, Gas Tokens can fill up the state when gas prices are low and then get refunds for the execution of transactions when gas prices rise.
Along with this, gas refunds contribute to variance in block execution time. Before London, up to 50% of the refunded gas could be used to execute further computation within the same block. This means that, in practice, the maximum block size could be up to 1.5x the gas limit. EIP-3529 lowers this “execution refund” from 50% to a maximum of 20%. This change will help offset some of the additional block size variance introduced by EIP-1559, which allows block to use up to twice the current gas limit.
EIP-3541 is a simple change which lays the groundwork for broader EVM improvements, described in [EIP-3540](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-3540). This EIP will make it impossible for new contracts starting with the 0xEF byte to be deployed. Existing contracts will not be affected. Once London is live, the shortest sequence of bytes starting with 0xEF which does not match the starting sequence of existing contracts could then be reserved as a way to identify contracts which comply with EIP-3540 semantics. Note: EIP-3540 will require an additional network upgrade to be deployed. It is also worth noting that if EIP-3540 is never deployed, EIP-3541 can also be used to reserve starting bytes for use in another scheme.
EIP-3554 delays the difficulty bomb, also known as the ice age. The difficulty bomb/ice age is a mechanism that was introduced in Ethereum to “freeze” mining as the network transitions to proof of stake. Given that the proof of stake transition is not yet ready, we need to delay when the bomb will “go off”. This has already been done three times in the past: in the Metropolis ([EIP-649](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-649)), Constantinople ([EIP-1234](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-1234)) and Muir Glacier ([EIP-2384](https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-2384)). all linked for more reading.
Did you know that London isn’t the only upgrade coming. We also have Altair dropping around the same time being called the ETH2.0 warm up upgrade meant to prepare for the new protocol, Altair ups the ante on validators responsibilities, corrects the slight imbalance of the distribution of rewards and increase block proposal rewards. it will increase the fine to 0.5 ETH for any malicious behaviour and any fully inactive validators will loose about 15% of their staked ETH.
The aim here is to bring network penalty values for validator inactivity and misbehaviour closer to what was originally set out in the Eth 2.0 protocol. These values were intentionally reduced to encourage early user participation in the network at its most experimental and nascent phase.
Now that the Eth 2.0 Beacon Chain has been running smoothly and successfully for more than six months, the Altair upgrade will ensure the network isn’t as forgiving of offenses by increasing the slashing and penalty parameters. It’s not all bad news for validators, however. The Altair upgrade also corrects a slight imbalance in the distribution of rewards. The vast majority of earnings for validators comes from votes and attestations of the correct block. Only 3% of overall rewards is earned from proposing the next block in the Eth 2.0 Beacon chain.
After Altair, block proposal rewards will jump up to about 12.5% of overall validator rewards so that the earnings for different validator responsibilities becomes more evenly split.
Very exciting stuff, we have a huge shift coming to the world of Ethereum soon and it will be the green alternative to bitcoin which right now and for the coming years is going to be one of the most important parts of crypto to bring it into the future.
## TLDR: lots of upgrades coming, Bullish AF 🙂