Details of the next Ethereum hardfork revealed

Berlin – the so-called next scheduled upgrade of the Ethereum network – is ready to go. The developer Tim Beiko officially announced this on the Ethereum Foundation blog.

The developers do not intend to admit delays and expect to activate Berlin in the Ropsten test network the day after tomorrow, March 10. The Ethereum mainnet update is scheduled for block 12,244,000, which is expected to be added to the blockchain  on April 14th . There may be a slight shift in the date depending on the block release rate.

Ethereum node holders need to update their software in advance, preferably at least a few days before the planned hard fork. This way they can guarantee synchronization with the network. Client download links can be found in the Ethereum Foundation publication. These clients are relevant for both the main and test networks. TurboGeth and EthereumJS clients are not ready to support Berlin on testnets and will be finalized by the time of the main release.

Ether holders who use exchanges, software or hardware wallets to store cryptocurrencies, do not need to do anything unless they receive special instructions from the representatives of the respective services. This usually does not happen.

Berlin contains four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP). These are relatively minor changes, while the most anticipated EIP-1559, which will change the fee model, will be part of the London hard fork following Berlin.

  • Included in Berlin EIP-2718 and EIP-2929 are associated with changes in the cost of certain transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. For example, the cost of the “CALL” procedure, if it is used for the first time in a transaction, rises from 700 to 2,600 gas units. Subsequent operations of a similar nature in the same transaction will cost 100 gas. Thus, the developers expect to reduce the risks of DoS attacks on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • EIP-2718 introduces a new “envelope” type of transactions. When Ethereum first launched, there was only one type of transaction that supported the “To” (recipient address) and “Data” (any data) fields. Over time, there has been a need for various transactions of this type, and EIP-2718 will make it easier to add them.
  • EIP-2930 adds optional access lists and helps avoid contract disruptions due to changes, as well as limit gas costs that will rise due to EIP-2929. EIP-2930 adds a new type of transaction containing a list of addresses with which it will interact.

The developers note that after the Istanbul hard fork, they ran out of names for the next updates. Therefore, it was decided to name the updates according to the venues of large-scale Ethereum conferences. Thus, the Devcon 0 conference was held in Berlin, and the Devcon 1 – in London.

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