Polygon proposed the launch of a network hard fork on Jan. 17

Polygon blockchain developers recommended a hard fork software upgrade to mitigate gas spikes and improve the security of blocks on the sidechain network.

Polygon eyes hard fork in January to address reorgs and gas fee spikes

According to a memo shared with The Block, the upgrade, recommended by Polygon Labs developers, is set to take place on January 17. If the community approves the hard fork, it will try to lessen the impact of transaction fee spikes and chain reorganizations, claiming to improve Polygon’s performance and security. The Polygon community has been discussing the upgrade on the governance forum for some time.

The upgrade is a larger attempt to increase the Polygon side chain’s technical capabilities, including parallelization and Polygon zkEVM. Polygon PoS works alongside Ethereum and is home to some of the most important Web3 projects, like Uniswap and Aave, as well as large corporations such as Robinhood, Adobe, and Stripe.

The hard fork’s first purpose is to make Polygon more resistant to restructuring. A chain reorganization, often known as a “reorg,” is the temporary creation of a new blockchain version by diverging from the prior version. The Polygon PoS chain is prone to reorgs, which occur when successive blocks overwrite prior ones due to various nodes reaching consensus at different times.

This can cause difficulty when attempting to determine whether or not a transaction was completed correctly.

To solve this issue, developers intend to adopt techniques that will assist in minimizing the time it takes for block finality to confirm successful transactions. The proposed update reduces sprint duration, which reduces the likelihood of a secondary or tertiary validator kicking in to produce blocks, resulting in fewer reorgs overall. A sprint length in the context of the Polygon PoS chain refers to the number of blocks that a validator can output concurrently.

By decreasing the sprint length from 64 to 16, a single block producer will be able to produce blocks continuously for a shorter amount of time (about 32 seconds, as opposed to the current 128 seconds), which developers claim will reduce chain reorgs.

The upgrade will mitigate the severity of gas spikes by increasing the “BaseFeeChangeDenominator” from 8 to 16 to balance out the rate of change of the base fee. The BaseFeeChangeDenominator parameter specifies the rate at which the base charge for a transaction varies inversely to the current demand for block space.

The present value of Polygon’s BaseFeeChangeDenominator is 8, and the plan is to alter it to 16. The purpose of this update is to balance out the rate of change of the base charge, eliminating extreme volatility in gas prices during periods of strong demand and resulting in a better experience while engaging with the chain.

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