Here comes the Ethereum “London” upgrade

The eleventh hard fork “London” upgrade of the Ethereum network will be activated at a block height of 12,965,000 (it is estimated that it will be carried out on the evening of August 5, 2021, Beijing time). This upgrade mainly includes 5 EIPs, namely EIP-1559, EIP-3198, EIP-3529, EIP-3541 and EIP-3554.

“London” upgrade countdown:

What preparations do I need to do?

Node operators need to upgrade the client version they are running. The following are the client versions that support the “London” mainnet upgrade:

go-ethereum (geth):1.10.6


Erigon (formerly TurboGeth): 2021.07.04-alpha

Besu: 21.7.1

OpenEthereum (formerly Parity): v3.3.0-rc.4

EthereumJS VM:v5.5.0

Tim Beiko (Ethereum ACD Coordinator/EIP-1559 Advocate) has recently received a lot of information about upgrading mining in London, and there are many misconceptions. He gave a detailed explanation of the work, precautions, and related resources for miners in the upgrade in London, and also made popular science on how users should set tips in an environment with MEV:

Notes for miners

When the London upgrade is activated, the gas limit of the forked block will be twice that of the last block before the fork, which can be seen on the forked testnet.

For example, the gas limit of the block before the fork of the Goelie testnet ( is about 8m, and the forked block ( It is approximately 16m.

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

However, if you want to keep the throughput on the chain unchanged, miners need to keep the new gas limit unchanged (the average block capacity is expected to be about 50% full).

If the miner does nothing, it will continue to use 15m gas as the upper limit of the block capacity, and the block size will be slowly reduced. To avoid this, miners need to increase the gas limit to 30m after the fork (if you want to keep the average block capacity at 15m gas).

Miners do not need to restart your mining nodes, each support London upgraded clients will achieve this through JSON RPC, see the API call announcement in London upgrade each client:

go-ethereum (geth):miner_setGasLimit



Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

The following is a link to the JSON RPC document:




Again, miners do not need to restart the node, only need to set a new gas limit in the JSON RPC call.

User notice

During the upgrade period, Ethereum users or ETH holders do not need to take additional actions, but they need to pay attention to upgrade notices issued by wallets or other service providers. In addition, Eth2 verifiers should also ensure that your PoW (eth1) nodes are upgraded to the latest version before upgrading in London.

The second big question is about the priority fee/tip setting. In short, tips are paid to miners to deal with additional risks, that is, uncle blocks appear when packaging your transactions. Bigger block -> slower broadcast on the network -> higher risk of uncle block.

There is a way to visualize this situation: increase the gas limit of the previous block from 12.5m to 15m. The point on the left shows the probability of uncle blocks appearing in the range of 12.5, and the one on the right shows when we adjust to 15m: the increase in uncle block rate brought by the newly added 2.5m gas.

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

Therefore, if the user wants to pay a high enough tip to the miners to allow them to package your transaction, then the tip needs to be a net income for them on average, and this is related to the probability of the user’s additional transactions entering the uncle block.

In the pre-MEV world, this calculation is very easy, because the block reward is distinguished from the uncle block reward, so we can directly use a fixed value (0.5-1 gwei).

Now the challenge with MEV is that when a block becomes an uncle block, miners will lose the income and part of the block rewards in the MEV transaction bundle, and MEV income will change greatly!

Therefore, the best way is to look at the median or 80th% value of MEV transaction bundles and compensate the miners for the risk of losing that income. Flashbots has some dashboards that can display this data:

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

The reason why the top 50/80% of the block revenue is selected as a tip is because it is unreasonable for ordinary users to try to compete with a 10ETH+MEV transaction bundle. This situation is very rare. If it does happen, the average user shouldn’t mind waiting for the next block.

So, how do you choose the tip value? @barnabemonnot has done a lot of calculations in this area and gave a simple strategy:


Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

Therefore, through the Flashbots dashboard and the above chart, we can see that 2-3 gwei is enough to cover the opportunity cost of 80-90% MEV transaction bundles, so this will be a better default value.

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

Now this method is not very intuitive. The calculation of MEV makes it difficult to set a hundred after one set, but it is hoped that APICs like @ETHGasStation and @gasnow_org can abstract these data in a few weeks.

Reference source:

What is included in the “London” upgrade?

EIP-1559: Eth1.0 fee market changes

EIP-1559 was proposed in April 2019. It is one of the most widely discussed and highly anticipated changes in the history of Ethereum, and it is also the most far-reaching move in the “London” upgrade. It aims to bid for the current “first price of Ethereum”. “(First Price Auction)-style fee market reform, the core goal is to improve the user’s trading experience.

After the implementation of EIP-1559, Ethereum’s transaction fees will be transformed into a basic fee plus tip (BaseFee and PriorityFee respectively), in which the basic fee will be automatically destroyed instead of being allocated to miners (miners’ income is the tip part). One point is widely believed to have a profound impact on the economic model of the Ethereum network. One of the determinants of Basefee is the saturation of the pre-block, which means that applications and users can more easily predict the cost of the transaction, and after the basic fee is paid, the transaction confirmation is also guaranteed.

EIP-1559 also allows flexible changes in block space, that is, flexible block space (currently 200% of block capacity is allowed), and the basic cost will be adjusted accordingly. That is, the gas limit of the current Ethereum block is 15m. After 1559, it will be used as the gasTarget (gas target), and the gasLimit will reach 30m. If the gas used by the block is higher than the gas target, the basic cost will increase until the network demand Reduce to this target again, otherwise the basic cost is lowered. In addition to the basic fee, there is another element that affects the transaction fee, namely tip. The amount of tip is not limited by the agreement. Under normal circumstances, the tip is used to cover the risk of uncle block with a lower amount. In the peak trading period, the transaction returns to the first price auction mechanism through tips.

In addition, EIP-1559 adds a new transaction type. Users can specify the maximum amount they are willing to pay. When they send this maximum fee to the miner, they will get the maximum fee minus the sum of the basic fee and the miner tip. The difference is refunded. If the amount of ETH on the sending transaction account is less than this maximum fee, the transaction cannot be executed.

The following link to watch the burning status of the basic fee:

EIP-3198: BASEFEE opcode

This EIP is matched with EIP-1559. It simply adds a BASEFEE opcode, which returns the basic cost of the block in which the transaction is executed. This will allow smart contracts to access this value on the chain, helping to submit fraud proofs and create trustless gas price derivatives.

EIP-3529: Reduce gas return

Another major change introduced in London is the cancellation of the gas return of the opcode SELFDESTRUCT and the reduction of the gas return of the opcode SSTORE. Although the original intention of setting up the return was to encourage developers to clear the state when possible, the reality is that this led to the appearance of Gas Token, which increased the size of the state instead. Using these returned gas, the Gas Token can be filled up when the gas price is very low, and then get a refund for executing these transactions when the gas price rises.

In addition, gas return will also cause changes in block execution time. Before the London upgrade, up to 50% of the returned gas could be further calculated in the same block. In other words, in reality, the largest block capacity can reach 1.5 times the gas limit. EIP-2539 reduced the “execution gas return” from 50% to a maximum of 20%. This change will help offset the additional block size changes introduced by EIP-1559, because EIP-1559 allows blocks to use twice the current gas limit.

EIP-3541: Reject new addresses beginning with 0xEF bytes

EIP-3541 is a simple change that lays the foundation for more extensive EVM improvements in the future. I would like to see EIP-3540. This EIP will make it impossible to deploy new contracts beginning with the 0xEF bit. Existing contracts will not be affected.

EIP-3554: Difficulty bomb delayed until December 1, 2021

EIP-3554 Delayed difficulty bomb, also known as the ice age. The difficulty bomb or ice age is a mechanism introduced by Ethereum to “freeze” mining when the network transitions to proof of rights. This has been done three times in the past, namely Metropolis (EIP-649), Constantinople (EIP-1234) and Muir Glacier (EIP-2384). Although the previous delays were quite long, the core developers chose a shorter delay this time and postponed the difficulty bomb to December 1, 2021.

Where will “London” go after?

Here comes the Ethereum "London" upgrade

The road to Ethereum upgrade @trent.eth

Following the “London” upgrade, Ethereum will also usher in the Altair upgrade for the beacon chain and the merger of Eth1 and Eth2 (The Merge).

The main content of Altair’s upgrade includes changes to Ethereum 2.0 pledge parameters and rewards and punishments calculations, and the introduction of synchronization committees for the realization of light clients. It is currently in the testnet stage.

After this upgrade, the related work and progress of The Merge will become the focus of attention of the entire community. In December 2020, the Ethereum beacon chain was created, and it has been running for nine months, but the current Ethereum blockchain and beacon chain are still two Ethereum blockchains running in parallel. The specific content of the merger of Eth1 and Eth2 is to use Eth1 as the execution chain, and its status, execution, and transactions will be incorporated into the beacon chain as the consensus chain. Each PoS beacon area Blocks will contain the data of the execution layer. At the same time, the Ethereum blockchain will no longer adopt PoW consensus when creating new blocks, so as to realize the consensus upgrade from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS).

On July 22, researcher Mikhail Kalinin, Ethereum core developer Danny Ryan, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin jointly released EIP-3675. The merger of Eth1 and Eth2 was officially proposed as an improvement proposal, and the PoS consensus upgrade was carried out. introduce.


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