Berlin hard fork now live on Ethereum


The evolution of Ethereum. The Berlin hard fork upgrade is now live on the blockchain, with this new refresh incorporating four optimizations aimed at gas efficiency and improved security.

Block 12,244,000 is when the hard fork went live, on Thursday.

This network upgrade incorporates four Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that not only tinker with gas prices, but also allow new types of transactions.

The Berlin hard fork is named for the capital of Germany that was all set to play host to the first Ethereum DevCon that was originally scheduled for June or July 2020, but was pushed back owning to centralization concerns around the Geth client on which most Ethereum nodes operate.

This upgrade is, of course, a stepping stone to the much bigger London hard fork that will activate the momentous yet controversial EIP 1559, which involves changes to the fee structure on the Ethereum network.

You can find the details of these current EIPs here, which are now live:

  • EIP-2565, which reduces gas cost for a specific transaction type that uses modular exponentiation.
  • EIP-2718, makes all transaction types “backwards compatible” using so-called “envelope transactions,” which allows the addition of new transaction logic into Ethereum.
  • EIP-2929, increases gas costs for “op code” transactions, a pain point for denial-of-service attacks on ETH in the past.
  • EIP-2930, a new transaction type (made possible by EIP-2718’s envelope transactions) which allows its users to create a preset outline of addresses and amounts for future transactions in a bid to lower gas costs.

This hard fork is one of the many on the road to ETH 2.0, the herculean leap of the popular blockchain network from proof of work to proof of stake concept.

As such, this means that old Ethereum clients will not be compatible with upgraded ones.

The world’s second largest cryptocurrency hit a new all-time high of $2,488.07 today, part of an ongoing rally that has seen Bitcoin also break new frontiers on the back of the highly-anticipated Coinbase direct listing on Nasdaq.

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