Ethereum Developers Say Controversial Network Upgrade Very Popular With Users
- Ethereum developers have defended the changes to the network that will come in the summer.
- They said the alterations are very popular with users, as they make fees simpler and limit ether supply.
- But miners remain disgruntled that their fees will be cut, with debate in the community ongoing.
- Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.
Developers on the Ethereum network have defended major changes that are set for the summer that will destroy ether tokens and cut the fees paid to miners, saying they’re popular with users and could boost the cryptocurrency’s price.
The planned alteration to the network, known in crypto jargon as EIP-1559, “is very popular among Ethereum users as it potentially makes Ethereum a deflationary asset,” Ben Edgington, a developer at ConsenSys, a company closely involved in the network, said on Tuesday.
Ethereum developers approved significant changes to the network that runs the ether cryptocurrency earlier in March. They are set to overhaul the current system under which users send tokens to miners to pay for transactions to be completed in a kind of auction process.
The changes have sparked anger among miners, however, as they would reduce the fees they receive. Some have even proposed a form of strike.
Yet developers say users support the changes, partly because the reduction in coins could lead to the price of ether rising sharply. Ether traded at around $1,800 on Wednesday. The token has gained around 145% so far this year.
Dan Finlay, lead developer on popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask, said: “Its purpose is to provide a more predictable transaction pricing system that reduces overpayment, and has some deflationary economics as a side benefit.”
Under the changes, which will likely come into force in July, users will send a base transaction fee to the network that would then destroy or “burn” ether tokens, thereby reducing the number of coins in circulation.
It will move the system away from the current mechanism, in which users have to bid to have their transactions included in blocks by miners, which can make fees very costly at times.
Edgington said these issues are “a significant problem for the usability of Ethereum and a barrier to the broader adoption of Ethereum by non-specialists.”
Lex Sokolin, co-head of fintech at ConsenSys, said the changes will take the network fees “from having an unpredictable and unbounded pricing mechanism to something that is much more predictable.”
The anonymous founder of Pylon, a major North American ether miner, said there was a lot of “turmoil” in the Ethereum world. They said miners had spent time and money building facilities, and now could be faced with heavy losses due to the changes.
“It goes back to the point [that] developers don’t mine, so they could care less about a miner, and miners don’t develop, so they could care less about reducing the congestion,” they said.
Some ether miners threatened to effectively go on strike, or try to disrupt the system in other ways in protest at the changes.
But there are signs of peace breaking out, with miners proposing their own EIP – which stands for Ethereum improvement proposal – that would raise their rewards and gradually lower them.