Three Ethereum testnets now have a set date for the London hard fork, a key step toward a full mainnet implementation

The hotly anticipated London Ethereum hard fork now has a set block height for three testnets — a key penultimate step toward a full mainnet launch.

The much-anticipated London hard fork will soon be making its way to Ethereum testnets

In a blog post on the Ethereum Foundation’s website, Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko wrote that the Ropsten, Goerli, and Rinkeby testnets now have set block heights at which London will go live, with Ropsten expected to be the first at block 10,499,401, or sometime on June 24. Goerli is expected to be next on June 30, and Rinkeby on July 7.

A release schedule for the all-important mainnet upgrade is still being determined, however.

The blog post stated:

“As of now, only the testnets (Ropsten, Goerli, Rinkeby) have been scheduled for London. Once the upgrade has successfully been activated on these networks, a block will be set for the Ethereum mainnet and be communicated on this blog and in other venues.”

The hard fork upgrade in London includes the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP). While the upgrade blocks haven’t been set across the various networks yet, the list of EIPs included in London is now final. As per the upgrade specification, they are:

  • EIP-1559: Fee market change for ETH 1.0 chain
  • EIP-3198: BASEFEE opcode
  • EIP-3529: Reduction in refunds
  • EIP-3541: Reject new contracts starting with the 0xEF byte
  • EIP-3554: Difficulty Bomb Delay to December 1st, 2021

The standout proposal, however, is EIP-1559. This is an overhaul of Ethereum’s current fee structure, EIP-1559 is expected to significantly reduce gas costs for users. However, the EIP-1559 can also cut into miner revenues by upward of 50%, however, which has led to some grublings about a miner revolt that has significantly failed to materialize.

Moreover, EIP-1559 adds a new transaction type where users can specify the maximum fee they are willing to pay, along with the maximum they are willing to send to the miner and get a refund for the difference between that maximum and the base fee and miner tip.

The companion name to EIP-1559 is EIP-3198. It simply adds an opcode, BASEFEE, which returns the value of the base fee for the block it is executed in. This will enable smart contracts to access this value on-chain, which can help with submitting fraud proofs and creating trustless gas price derivatives.

The upgrade is considered one of many bullish catalysts for Ethereum, not the least of which is the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. This upgrade will transition the network to a more scalable Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. This will significantly reduce the power consumption of validator blocks.

The blog post notes that such significant system upgrades to a decentralized system are a feat of coordination:

“The decentralized nature of blockchain systems makes a network upgrade more difficult. Network upgrades in a blockchain require cooperation and communication with the community, as well as with the developers of the various Ethereum clients in order for the transition to go smoothly.”

At press time, ETH was trading at $2,240, down more than 4% in the last 24 hours.

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