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Ethereum completed the "Berlin hard fork" What is the hard fork?



After the "Muir Glacier" upgrade, Ethereum has implemented the "Berlin" upgrade again.

At around 6:12 pm on Thursday, April 15th, the Berlin hard fork was officially activated on block 12244000 of the mainnet. In the past week, the average computing power of the entire Ethereum network was 502.37 TH/s, and the average block generation time was 13 seconds. 74.6% of clients are currently ready.

The Berlin hard fork mainly optimizes the performance of Ethereum's main network, optimizes contracts, covers Gas efficiency, updates the way the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) reads code, and prevents denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks. This upgrade will incorporate 4 new EIP improvement proposals:

EIP-2565: Change the gas cost of modulo/exponentiation operations. The EIP-2565 proposal is a repricing of the previous EIP-198 (modulo exponentiation of large numbers); initially, EIP-198 introduced a precompiled module for modulo exponentiation that allowed us to import many Cryptographic algorithms that require modulo exponentiation, such as the verification of RSA signatures. EIP-2565 reduces the gas overhead of this module to be on par with the overhead of performing other operations.

The total lock-up volume of the Ethereum L2 network exceeded US$4.5 billion: Jinse Finance reported that L2BEAT data showed that as of October 24, the total lock-up volume on Ethereum Layer2 was US$4.6 billion. Among them, the expansion program Arbitrum has the highest amount of locked positions, which is about 2.72 billion US dollars, accounting for 59.21%. Followed by dYdX, the lock-up volume is 1.01 billion USD, accounting for 22.08%. The Optimism lock-up volume is 459 million US dollars, accounting for 9.97%. [2021/10/31 6:22:41]

EIP-2718: Standardized transaction envelopes. This EIP introduces a new transaction type, which itself acts as an envelope to more easily enable support for multiple transaction types.

EIP-2929: Increase gas overhead for state access opcodes. This EIP increases the gas consumption of a transaction when calling SLOAD, *CALL, BALANCE, EXT* and SELFDESTRUCT for the first time.

The upgrade range of Ethereum Berlin may include 5 proposals, which may increase the Gas cost of some instructions: In the Ethereum developer meeting, the core developers discussed the upgrade range of the next hard fork upgrade of Ethereum (codenamed Berlin). For discussion, the upgrades that may be included are EIP-2929, EIP-2930, EIP-2718, EIP-2565, and EIP2315. The more controversial part is EIP-2929, which was proposed by Vitalik Buterin, proposing to increase the Gas cost for the first storage read and account access, but this solution may affect the execution of some old smart contracts. [2020/11/30 22:34:58]

EIP-2930: Optional access lists. The idea behind this proposal is to correct the damage caused by EIP-2929 to existing contracts and alleviate the problem of increased Gas consumption caused by EIP-2929.

The "Muir Glacier" upgrade was only carried out in January, and the "Berlin" upgrade started again. What exactly are upgrades and hard forks?

News | The first version of the Ethereum 2.0 client Lighthouse is tentatively scheduled to be released on July 15: The Ethereum 2.0 development team Sigma Prime announced that it is tentatively scheduled to release the first version of the Ethereum 2.0 client Lighthouse on July 15. This release is primarily aimed at researchers and developers. Lighthouse is an Ethereum 2.0 client developed in the programming language Rust. [2019/7/7]

Any system needs to be "upgraded", and the blockchain is no different. It is very simple to upgrade the software in the centralized system. You only need to upload the latest software on the development team and the users can download it. However, in the blockchain system, "upgrading" is not so simple. Because there is no centralized organization, every code upgrade of digital assets such as Bitcoin needs to be unanimously approved by the community. If the community cannot reach a consensus, the blockchain is likely to form a "fork".

A fork is a permanent divergence of the blockchain. After the release of the new consensus rules, the non-upgraded nodes refuse to verify the blocks produced by the upgraded nodes. Although the upgraded nodes can verify the blocks produced by the non-upgraded nodes, But it will also act in accordance with the new rules. Therefore, if everyone continues the chain they think is correct, they will be divided into two chains.

New Ethereum technology focuses on security: The Slavic god of lightning, Perun, is entering the Ethereum ecosystem. Inspired by Bitcoin's Lightning Network, a group of Warsaw-based researchers has released a new white paper called "Foundations of State Channel Networks," outlining a new effort to help ethereum scale to support more complex smart contracts. . But while several ethereum projects are building solutions to this problem, Perun's approach is unique—that is, it focuses on security because it provides a formal definition of security and proofs of security for its protocol. [2018/4/19]

The first fork of Ethereum was actually a solution after being hacked. In 2016, hackers exploited code loopholes to attack The DAO, a crowdfunding project on Ethereum, and kept separating assets from The DAO fund pool. In order to prevent investors' assets from being transferred, Ethereum directly chose a hard fork. After the fork, two chains are formed, one is the original chain (Ethereum Classic, ETC) and the other is the new forked chain (ETH), each representing different community consensus and values.

Although it was a last resort for the first time, Ethereum was "premeditated" for the subsequent hard forks. Instead of waiting for others to attack, it is better to proactively repair deficiencies. Since 2016, Ethereum has carried out system-wide upgrades through hard forks many times. In 2019, the two upgrades called "Constantinople" and "St. Petersburg" were all based on "hard forks". way to achieve.

In December 2020, Ethereum underwent an Istanbul hard fork upgrade. After less than a month, Ethereum has carried out a "Muir upgrade" again? The interval is so short, what is the upgrade?

The root cause is that the Ethereum difficulty bomb has already been activated.

"Ethereum Difficulty Bomb" refers to a part of the difficulty adjustment mechanism of the proof-of-work algorithm used by Ethereum. If the time is too short (less than 10 seconds) or too long (more than 20 seconds), the mechanism will increase or decrease the mining difficulty accordingly.

The difficulty bomb adds a value to the mining difficulty that only increases with the increase of the block height and does not change with the change of the block generation time. This value increases every 100,000 blocks and never decreases.

In the beginning, the difficulty increased by the difficulty bomb is very small, so it has no obvious impact on the block generation time; and the increase of this part of the difficulty is also very slow, but its growth is close to exponential growth. So at a certain time, it will suddenly increase the difficulty of the network and reduce the speed of block production.

In 2019, the difficulty bomb began to show its impact when the block height reached 8.6 million, and the average block generation time increased significantly; when the block height reached 8.9 million, the block generation time rose to 14.3 seconds.

"By February 2020, the block time may rise to 30 seconds. This will make the entire chain very slow and difficult to use." This is the so-called "Ice Age (Ice Age)".

One way to solve the ice age problem is a hard fork. Let’s take a look at the changes in the mining difficulty of Ethereum in recent years.

The figure shows that there were two obvious exponential growths in the difficulty and then a straight drop. This is because the difficulty bomb exploded after the Ethereum difficulty bomb was launched, and the difficulty of mining blocks was reduced again. All this was completed with the hard fork.

A hard fork upgrade alone to delay the difficulty bomb is where the "Muir Glacier" hard fork comes in.

Muir Glacier can delay the "difficulty bomb" by 4 million blocks. As time goes on, this difficulty bomb is not expected to “explode” again for several years. The upgraded name "Muir Glacier" is also to commemorate the geologist Muir, who was the first scholar who accurately proposed the concept of glacier activity.

In any case, each hard fork upgrade represents an optimization and improvement of Ethereum. It is said that the "Berlin upgrade" will trigger major changes in the functions of the Ethereum network. What do you think of this? Welcome to share with us in the comment area.

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