Ethereum developers recently proposed a network change called EIP-1559, a proposal aimed at combating the network’s rising transaction fees. Expected to take effect in July this year, the measure would send a portion of each transaction fee to the Ethereum network itself. The Ether allocated in this way would burn down, reducing the number of coins in circulation.
This change would also reduce the amount of rewards going to network miners, prompting some to protest the move. Since then, a group of participants has started advocating for a demonstrative takeover of the network, which could threaten its security. However, the group does not appear to intend to topple Ethereum, insisting that they only wish to demonstrate the viability of such an attack. Buterin and other Ethereum developers have since responded by planning defensive efforts.
“The goal of this document is to describe a mechanism by which a merge can occur quickly, with little modification of the ethpow or beacon clients,” Buterin said. This measure would mean a faster-than-expected transition of the network to Ethereum 2.0.
“Like clockwork, the Ethereum community has quickly organized possible solutions to this potential 51% attack, with Vitalik leading the charge.” according to a publication of Status on March 12, pointing to the frame written by Buterin. “Vitalik describes how Ethereum can perform a ‘quick merge’ rapidly going from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake with limited changes to Ethereum clients”, the post said.
A miner known as “Bits Be Trippin“commented in a YouTube video on March 9 that, “Part of the risk shown here is not attacking the network, it is showing that force projection is possible.”
Ethereum 2.0 is a scaling effort which seeks to bring the proof-of-work, or PoW, network to a proof-of-stake mining consensus, or PoS, an effort that has been in the works for years.
The framework recently proposed by Buterin would accelerate the transition of the network mining consensus, choosing to resolve the issues and details of the system after the fact, the Estado publication detailed. The merger could clear the way for more fluid development on Ethereum 2.0, according to Buterin’s post and article.
The Status post noted that the opposition group to EIP-1559 has already technically mustered enough power to carry out its 51% attack, according to the group’s website at the time of publication of the article.
The Ethereum network has been home to many important developments in both decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens over the past year. However, as the number of platforms and assets running on the Ethereum network has grown, so have the network’s transaction fees.
Ethereum started Eth2 in December 2020, with the launch of its Beacon chain.