Let It Burn - The Daily Gwei #306

Burn baby burn - Ethereum inferno!

After over 2 years since it was first proposed, EIP-1559 is now live on the Ethereum mainnet as part of the London network upgrade. This is a historic day for the entire Ethereum community as I personally believe this upgrade will finally create a symbiotic relationship for Ethereum. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend checking out this piece I co-authored which will give you an easy-to-understand overview of EIP-1559.

Obviously the benefits of EIP-1559 have been written and talked about a lot at this point so I won’t continue beating this dead horse and instead focus on Ethereum upgrades in general. I think besides the eth2 effort, EIP-1559 is by far the EIP that has taken the longest from proposal to being live on mainnet. Usually, EIP’s go through the research, development and governance process much quicker - mostly because they are much smaller in scope than something like EIP-1559. I think the fact that the decentralized Ethereum community was able to get a change like EIP-1559 into the network is a testament to the Ethereum’s communities strong willingness not to ossify at the protocol layer - no matter how long some changes take to be implemented.

Ethereum as a whole still has a long way to go in terms of upgrades at the protocol layer, application layer and at layer 2. Some of the protocol upgrades are 5+ years from being implemented into Ethereum but a lot of those upgrades are considered “nice to haves” - the core Ethereum roadmap will probably be delivered in 3-5 years (the merge, sharding, statelessness and some other upgrades). Meanwhile, the application layer and all of the scaling initiatives will run at their own pace in parallel to core development - tapping into new protocol features only if they need them for what they are building.

I think that the core Ethereum protocol itself will eventually ossify which means no major upgrades would happen on the network anymore. Though, of course, this should only happen once the network reaches a state where most, if not all, of the upgrades that the community wants are already in place. In saying that, ossification can happen over time instead of all at once - the network will probably get to a point where it only upgrades once a year, then once every 2 years before eventually settling on not doing any major upgrades at all - we’re probably still 5-10 years from this happening though.

The next major upgrade that Ethereans have to look forward to is The Merge - tentatively scheduled for deployment in Q1 2022. This is of course when we merge the 2 existing Ethereum networks (commonly referred to as eth1 and eth2) and get rid of Proof of Work once and for all. To me, this is a much bigger milestone than the launch of EIP-1559 for various reasons and I can’t wait to see it finally implemented.

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano

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All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.