Developer Finds Concerning Issue with one of Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork’s EIP

  • EIP-1884 is about repricing for opcodes
  • This EIP will break at least a few deployed contracts, says developer
  • Vitalik also answers what will break as current blockchain migrates to Eth 2.0

Recently, Ethereum core-developers finalized a list of six code changes to be activated for the next system-wide upgrade of Ethereum Network called Istanbul.

The update will be executed in two parts, with the first one featuring all six code changes with a tentative date in October while the second one will feature Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) — sometime in the first quarter next year — that require further testing from core developers.

The accepted EIPs are:

  • EIP-152: Add Blake2 compression function F precompile
  • EIP-1108: Reduce alt_bn128 precompile gas costs
  • EIP-1344: Add ChainID opcode
  • EIP-1884: Repricing for trie-size-dependent opcodes
  • EIP-2028: Calldata gas cost reduction
  • EIP-2200: Rebalance net-metered SSTORE gas cost with consideration of SLOAD gas cost change

However, Rust developer at Parity Technologies, Wei Tang is concerned about on of EIPs, EIP-1884.

“Ethereum shouldn't be of exception if it wants to have a bright future.”

This EIP proposes repricing certain opcodes in order to obtain a “good balance between gas expenditure and resource consumption.” It basically proposes to raise the gas cost for opcodes that are more resource-intensive than they were previously.

According to Tang, this EIP will break at least a few deployed contracts. That he says may be a “standalone incident” but he is more concerned about the fact that some core developers take it as “acceptable behavior.”

Tang argues that backward compatibility is one of the priorities for making design decisions for projects on which many people depend on.

Giving the example of Windows and Linux and how they gained popularity because of backward compatibility, he says, “Ethereum shouldn't be of exception if it wants to have a bright future.”

What will break as current blockchain migrates to Eth 2.0?

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is in favor of this EIP, although he wishes repricing were higher but says Tang’s concern “is still an important other side of the debate to highlight.”

Istanbul's first part will be the fifth hard fork to be executed on Ethereum blockchain that is expected to help it secure against replay attacks and boost chain interoperability with zcash, a privacy coin.

As for what will break under the currently deployed contract when the existing blockchain is migrated to Eth 2.0, Buterin shares a few factors to be affected.

Testnet activation of the first part of Istanbul will be the last set before mainnet activation, which all ethereum core developers are looking forward to as it will ensure that “everything's working correctly.”


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