Ethereum core devs meeting update (July 14, 2017)

Ethereum core devs meeting update (July 14, 2017)

All Core Devs Meeting #20

Ethereum Foundation's core developers meeting was streamed live on youtube. yesterday , July 14, 2017.


  • Metropolis updates/EIPs.
    a. Any "subtleties" or questions we need to work out.
    -Split metropolis into 2 forks? Leave out EIP 86/208 in fork #1.
    b. Updates to testing.
    c. Details and implementations of EIPs.
  1. Updates from client teams.
    geth - ethereum/go-ethereum#14337
    Parity - paritytech/parity#4833
    cpp-ethereum - ethereum/cpp-ethereum#4050
    yellowpaper - ethereum/yellowpaper#229
    Other clients
  2. Determining gas prices for new opcodes & pre-compiles
    d. Review time estimate for testing/release.

Main outcomes of the meeting (as reported by Souptacular):

  • Splitting Metropolis into 2 hard forks.
    Part A - Aug / Sep 2017
    Part B - Jan / Feb 2018
    These dates are still entirely guesses and subject to change depending on how testing goes and what EIPs are decided to add to Metro. B.

  • Delaying EIP 86 until Metro HF 2.
    The reasoning is that EIP 86 is a significant change to the underlying way accounts are created and recently there has been extensive discussion (summarized here) about the concerns and challenges of safely implementing it.
    At this point completing the analysis and testing of 86 would delay Metropolis further than necessary, especially considering that the other EIPs that are to be added are nearly all finalized, implemented in clients, and have tests developed for them.
    In short, no other EIP going into metro is reliant on EIP 86 so to make sure Metropolis as a whole goes smoothly we want to give ourselves plenty of time to evaluate the recently discussed issues surrounding EIP 86's design.

  • Likely adding miner block reward deduction to Metro HF 1.

  • Block time estimates calculated today (subject to change):
    22 sec. - end of July
    27 sec. - Aug. 26
    35 sec. - Sept. 27
    45 sec. - Nov. 6th

  • EIP649 (difficulty bomb delay) is planned for HF1.

  • Nick/Vitalik working on EIP 96, 98, and addressing concerns with gas scheduling in 198.

  • EIP for miner reward reduction (will be combined with ethereum/EIPs#669 likely)

  • Put ice age changes in 669.

  • Martin H.S will bring new opcode gas data next time.

  • Parity team to supply benchmarks to compare with Martin's geth ones.

Why are block times increasing?

As explained by PoliticalDissidents, "It's the difficulty bomb. Difficulty was programmed to increase exponentially beyond what is warranted to account for increasing hashrate. This means block time keeps getting longer and longer and doing so at an exponentially increasing rate.

This was designed as a suicide pill for Etheruem as the plan all along was to fork later in the the future (primarily due to a plan to Implement POS) so the difficulty bomb exists to make it so that the current chain will die regardless of if miners want to keep it alive or not because eventually difficulty will get so high that block time will become so long that it's no longer a viable currency to use and it dies off."

Further details related to this meeting are available at GitHub.

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