Was The Protest Against EIP-1559 An April Fool’s Joke?

Ethereum’s most significant issue is the high gas fee, and the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-1559 is designed to solve this issue. 

The proposal will be going live in July. It is a gas-saving upgrade, but selected few from the mining community are not too happy about it. 

Miners who believed they’re at the losing end were planning a protest last month. But according to Chinese journalist Colin Wu (@WuBlockchain), the protest was an April Fool’s joke.

Wu tweeted saying,

“Until April 7th, the mining pool Ethermine, which opposed EIP-1559, only increased its hashrate by 4% compared to before April 1st, and the hashrate of the entire network accounted for about 18%. The so-called 51% demonstration was more like an April Fool’s joke.”

51% Attack Explained

The upgrade has ruffled some feathers in the Ethereum miners’ community, as some believe that they would be at a loss if EIP-1559 goes live. Many miners and mining operations declared their intent to redirect hash power to the Ethermine pool for 51 hours beginning on April 1st. 

This laid the ground for a potential “51% attack.” It’s an attack on a blockchain by a group of miners who control more than 50% of the network’s mining hash rate. With the majority control of the network, miners could interrupt the recording of new blocks by preventing other miners from completing blocks. As malicious as it sounds, the miners stated that this was only an educational show of force. 

Attack A Spectacular Failure Or A Joke

On March 7th, Crypto mining YouTuber who goes by the moniker @RedPandaMining tweeted a call to unite for the protest saying,

“For educational purposes, let’s collectively move our hash to (Ethermine) April 1st for 51 hours. #eip1559 #stopeip1559 #Ethereum”

However, April 1st sailed by, and the educational show of force did not happen. It could be possible that the threat was never a real one and designed to apply pressure on developers to give a solution that miners could support too. 

A reason for the failure could be due to miners holding ETH too, as stated by Wu on Twitter:

“Our previous research among Chinese miners showed that the vast majority of miners are unwilling to participate in this activity. Miners themselves are also eth holders, and believe that the price will rise sharply after the EIP-1559 upgrade and bring benefits.”

Alternate EIP-3368 Will Not Go To London Fork

The blockchain community was left divided; most miners claimed that such an attack should not have been considered in the first place. Some believe this was an April Fool’s joke, while others believe that the protest was called off as plans of a counterproposal surfaced. 

On March 13th, miners introduced EIP-3368 which increases miners’ rewards to 3 ETH per block with a decaying return rate bringing rewards down to 1 ETH over two years. The proposal also states that should enough miners scale down preparing for Ethereum 2.0, the network’s security would become vulnerable. 

Tim Beiko, Community Manager at Ethereum Foundation, acknowledged the EIP-3368 counterproposal on Twitter on March 13th. However, on March 19th, he announced that 3368 would not be a part of the London Fork after a discussion with the core development team available on YouTube. His tweet said,

“In summary, if something goes wrong with 1559, we can assess exactly what the problem is, and the potential solutions, when that happens. This is one potential avenue, but we haven’t committed to it. In short, EIP-3368 is not going into London.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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