Ethereum Berlin upgrades went live on the main net in the middle of April. It followed the Istanbul and Muir Glacier updates, which took place in December 2019 and January 2020, respectively.
Berlin belongs to the series of upgrades that take Ethereum all the way from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake blockchain model. Proof-of-stake gives miners more awards as they stake their ETH and become validators in the network – as opposed to the more common proof-of-work model, where the miner of the block gets the reward. According to the developers, switching to the new model will result in less energy consumption, lower entry barriers, better decentralization, and easier scaling.
However, that’s a thing of the future, and now let’s focus on the latest upgrade. How does it change the way Ethereum functions, and what to do to keep access to the network?
Berlin upgrade improves optimizes the system, mainly making it more stable and cost-efficient. The 4 main EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) are as follows:
- EIP-2565 lowers the cost of ModExp precompile,
- EIP-2929 prevents spam attacks on the network,
- EIP-2718 adds support of multiple transaction types,
- EIP-2930 introduces a transaction type with optional access lists.
If you are unsure what to do to upgrade now or in the future, here is the summary of instructions from Ethereum blog:
– If you hold ETH and use an exchange or a non-custodial wallet, then you don’t need to take any specific actions (unless your service provider instructs you otherwise);
– If you are a node operator or a miner, you will need to update your client at least several days before the mainnet (7 days is recommended).