Author: changehero
October 27, 2021

Ethereum Altair upgrade arrived on October 27, 2021 on the Ethereum 2.0 mainnet. Why was it so anticipated and what does it mean, explained in our new recap. Key Takeaways The Ethereum Altair upgrade is the first planned update to the Ethereum beacon chain (Ethereum 2.0). It was launched on Oct 27, 2021 at 10:56:23 […]

What is Ethereum Altair Upgrade?

Ethereum Altair upgrade arrived on October 27, 2021 on the Ethereum 2.0 mainnet. Why was it so anticipated and what does it mean, explained in our new recap.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ethereum Altair upgrade is the first planned update to the Ethereum beacon chain (Ethereum 2.0). It was launched on Oct 27, 2021 at 10:56:23 UTC and introduced some changes to consensus and rewards and punishment;
  • The hard fork will require action from node operators and validators and will not affect end-users of Ethereum beacon chain;
  • The Ethereum community anticipates that this update will serve as a stepping stone for the merger of legacy Ethereum chain and Ethereum 2.0 and usher in the transfer to Proof-of-Stake.

What is Ethereum Altair Upgrade?

Proof-of-Work Ethereum chain has had eleven upgrades so far, with the London hard fork being the latest. However, this has not been the case with the Proof-of-Stake Ethereum chain until recently.
Altair is the first scheduled update to the beacon chain of Ethereum (commonly known as Ethereum 2.0). It was performed as a hard fork, meaning once it is active, there is a new chain with new rules and old chain, which will die out.

When Will the Ethereum Altair Upgrade Happen?

According to the official blog post, Ethereum Altair upgrade will take effect in epoch 74240. In more common terms, this block activated on Oct 27, 2021 at 10:56:23 UTC.
When will ETH 2.0 launch and Ethereum 2.0 merge with the main network? While this planned upgrade to the beacon chain warms up the merger development, exact dates of arrival are still up in the air. Optimistic estimates put the date of launch sometime in 2022.

What Will Change?

Ethereum Altair upgrade will bring several new features and rules to the Ethereum 2.0 chain.

  • Light clients (abridged copies of the blockchain) will be able to participate in core consensus;
  • Fixed bugs and cleaned up incentive accounting (i.e. rewards calculation);
  • More strict slashing parameters (for stakers that do not participate and validate properly). This can be crucial for the security of the network, incentivizing all nodes to work properly.

As can be inferred from the list of changes, they will only affect validators and node operators.
What should an ETH holder do for the Altair upgrade? Ethereum holders and users do not need to do anything. Node operators and validators must upgrade until the deadline to keep working in the live version of Ethereum 2.0.
How will ETH staking work after the Altair upgrade? The hard fork does not change staking fundamentally, so aside from some changes in calculations of rewards and punishments, nothing changes much in Ethereum staking for now. Altair does not make withdrawals of ETH stakes possible yet, so validators will have to wait until the merge.

Tweets on Ethereum Altair Upgrade


While we were preparing this guide, Altair went live! The community is celebrating this milestone and is already looking forward to the next update.


News outlet Crypto Amb made an article raising and debunking concerns about the Altair upgrade. The only impactful fact is that 17% of the nodes remained in the old chain and might suffer the consequences.


User MinusWells explained why Altair upgrade is so vital to the merger of Ethereum networks and transition to Proof-of-Stake.

Conclusion

Community members have already dubbed Ethereum Altair upgrade a “low stakes warm-up” for the merger with Ethereum 2.0. Since the current iteration of beacon chain represents how Ethereum will work in the future, it is vital to have at least one dress rehearsal.
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Author: changehero
July 29, 2021

While ETH 2.0 still looms on the horizon, a heatedly discussed London hard fork is soon to hit the current mainnet. In this guide, we explain what it means for Ethereum users and developers. Key Takeaways The Ethereum London hard fork is set to arrive on August 4, 2021. After it is live, new fee […]

What Is Ethereum London Hard Fork?

While ETH 2.0 still looms on the horizon, a heatedly discussed London hard fork is soon to hit the current mainnet. In this guide, we explain what it means for Ethereum users and developers.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ethereum London hard fork is set to arrive on August 4, 2021. After it is live, new fee mechanisms will take place;
  • The fee change is included in the much discussed and controversial EIP-1559, as well as EIP-3198;
  • The new fees will consist of a base fee that will get burned and optional tips to miners.

What’s the current state of Ethereum?

London hard fork is the 11th planned upgrade to the Proof-of-Work Ethereum network. While Ethereum 2.0 is getting built, the majority of transactions still run on the PoW network.

Ethereum network upgrades
Source: Luit Hollander on Medium

Previous planned hard forks made the network what it is today. It can be hard to imagine but some things like NFTs or 2 ETH block rewards were not always present.
In 2016, the network was hard forked four times, with DAO fork being the most significant. It rewrote the history of the blockchain to mitigate the DAO hack and caused Ethereum Classic to branch off.
Next upgrade, Metropolis, consisting of two hard forks, Byzantium and Istanbul, stretched out from 2017 to 2019. Some of EIPs that were supposed to be included in the Istanbul hard fork, ended up in the Berlin upgrade this spring.
Many of the hard forks included a so-called “difficulty bomb” delay. “Difficulty bomb” is a mechanism designed for an eventual transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) which will make mining unfeasible once PoS Ethereum is functional.

What is Ethereum London Hard Fork?

So, as is clear from the previous section, London is the upcoming planned upgrade to the PoW Ethereum network.
When is Ethereum London hard fork? The Ethereum London hard fork date of arrival is August 4, 2021.
Do ETH holders need to do anything? If you are using an Ethereum client like Parity or geth, make sure to update it. If you are using third-party software to interact with the Ethereum blockchain, check in with them for information on support of the fork.

EIPs in ETH London hard fork

London hard fork is going to include five EIPs. But first things first, what is EIP 1559?

EIP-1559: Fee Market Change for ETH 1.0 Chain

EIP-1559 fee change
Source: BitMEX blog

This is the core change of the hard fork that caused so much debate. On the one hand, it will decrease inflationary pressure further but also cut miner’s rewards.
This EIP will change the fee mechanics so that instead of a fee auction for transaction priority there will be base fees and tips. Base fees will be burned while tips, which are optional, will keep going to miners.
Proponents of the change claim in the long term this will further keep total supply of ETH from inflating and depreciating.
Those who oppose the change (mostly miners) say that the new fee mechanics will not be effective to incentivize miners. After all, these days transaction fees make up a significant portion of miner revenue.
Despite the debate, the consensus has been reached and starting August 4, 2021 the EIP will be effective.

EIP-3198: BASEFEE Opcode

The second proposal extends the new fee mechanics to smart contract calls. This will help dApp developers and users by making fees more predictable.

EIP-3529: Reduction in Refunds

This proposal removes refunds for certain opcodes: it introduces a conditional limit for gas refunds so they don’t clutter the network. In practice, most refunds weren’t used as intended.
Users would ramp junk data in times of low fee costs and refund them when fees are high. This EIP is supposed to help declutter and stabilize the network.

EIP-3541: Reject New Contracts Starting with the 0xEF Byte

At the current stage, EIP-3541 won’t introduce a lot of change to the network. In the future, it can support modifications for new types of smart contracts.

EIP-3554: Difficulty Bomb Delay to December 2021

Finally, by now a staple of Ethereum hard forks, a “difficulty bomb” delay proposal. This time around, it will be delayed to December 2021.

Tweets on London Hard Fork


The update is due in less than a week, and the whole community is filled with anticipation.


London hard fork is significant not only for the Ethereum community. The entire crypto community is watching closely where the changes will take ETH.


Ethereum devs are updating the community on the status. Testnet development is proceeding with some bumps but it’s still better to fix before the release.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency fosters innovations, and such changes are inevitable on the way to developing a fair and accessible financial system. Most of the holders do not need to do anything, client users will have to simply update to keep up with the network.
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