According to a blog post by ETH developer Tim Beiko, the Berlin hard fork is set to go live on mainnet on April 14 at block height 12,244,000.
The Berlin overhaul, named after Devcon 0 which took place in Berlin, marks a significant landmark for the ETH project’s development roadmap.
This forthcoming upgrade was initially scheduled for July 2020 but was delayed due to concerns over centralization around the Geth client on which the majority of ETH nodes run.
Berlin introduces various optimizations for contracts that will guard the network against denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks and integrate gas efficiencies. Developers will also include updates to how the ETH Virtual Machine (EVM) reads code.
All node operators are advised to upgrade to a Berlin-compatible version before April 7 for the mainnet.
“Ethereum node operators should upgrade their nodes prior to the fork block on the networks they want to participate in. Due to block time variability, it is recommended to update several days before the expected date,” Beiko explained.
Ropsten, the first testnet to upgrade, will be rolled out on March 10, followed by the Goerli and Rinkeby networks scheduled to upgrade on March 17 and March 24, respectively.
After all three upgrades are successfully deployed, the Berlin upgrade will make its way onto the mainnet on April 14.
Berlin Fork To implement Four Improvement Protocols
The Berlin hard fork follows the Istanbul and Muir Glacier upgrades, rolled out in Dec of 2019 and 2020, respectively. The upcoming upgrade will implement four ETH Improvement Protocols (EIPs) and precede the London upgrade, which is named after the location where Devcon 1 happened.
ETH developers plan to start with the rollout of EIP-2565, a pricing model that should lower gas fees on the proposal to align them with the cost of executing other operations.
The next proposal, EIP-2718, is set to introduce a new transaction type that enables more effective support for numerous transaction types.
EIP-2929 increases certain gas costs to mitigate the biggest remaining DDoS attack vector in the ETH blockchain. Finally, the dev team will implement EIP-2930 to fix the breaking changes to current contracts and mitigate some of the gas cost upsurges brought on by the introduction of EIP-2929.
ETH token holders, wallet service providers, and exchanges aren’t required to do anything to accommodate the Berlin upgrade.
Addressing Rising Transaction Fees on Ethereum
The Ethereum network is currently implementing various solutions to combat the issue of crippling gas fees. Developers recently approved EIP 1559, a major optimization scheduled to come into play in July or August.
The EIP 1559 proposal is expected to introduce base fees, reducing the amount of outstanding transaction fees users pay when using the network.