How Ethereum block times will change after the Merge
If feedback from frustrated users and developers wasn’t enough, ConstitutionDAO’s high-profile endeavor to crowdfund donations for an auction revealed the scale of Ethereum’s gas fees.
Now, with the Ethereum ecosystem preparing for The Merge, developer Tim Beiko has published a post explaining how the long-awaited transition would affect the platform.
The biggest takeaway from the report – Between the proof-of-work and proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms, the difference in average block time is reportedly a one-second drop.
As Beiko reported,
“The Merge will impact the average block time on Ethereum. Currently under proof of work, blocks come in on average every ~13 seconds with a fair amount of variance in actual block times.”
He further added,
“Under proof of stake, blocks come in exactly each 12 seconds except when a slot is missed either because a validator is offline or because they do not submit a block in time.”
No more life hacks
On the question of security, Beiko noted how proof-of-work blockchains are more vulnerable to reorg attacks. In his report, Beiko outlined how the post-merge Ethereum would use finalized and safe head blocks. A finalized block would have higher validator requirements.
“A finalized block is one which has been accepted as canonical by >2/3 of validators. To create a conflicting block, an attacker would have to burn at least 1/3 of the total stake. At the time of this writing, this represents over $10 billion (or >2.5 million ETH) on Ethereum.”
However, here it’s important to note that safe heads are still being researched.
Following the Merge, the Beacon chain will come in to play a dominant role. What’s more, Beacon chain blocks will have what are known as Execution Pay Loads.
Well, what does this mean for traders? According to the developer,
“Fortunately, due to the stability of the execution layer, The Merge introduces only minimal breaking changes.”
Please, sir, may I have less?
Furthermore, during an All Core Developers meeting, Tim Beiko not only acknowledged that fees on the Ethereum mainnet were high, but that rollups were also seeing a hike.
Developers discussed EIP-4490 and EIP-4488, both of which proposed reducing calldata costs in order to reduce fees.
“If we do want to ship this before the merge, though, we need to act fast: the fork would have to hit mainnet in February at the latest…”