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What is Ethereum’s Berlin Hardfork?

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What is Ethereum’s Berlin Hardfork?

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is set to undergo a major upgrade known as the Berlin Hard Fork. This highly anticipated update promises to bring several improvements to the Ethereum network, increasing its scalability, security, and performance. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the Berlin hard fork and explore its features, goals, and potential impact on the Ethereum ecosystem.

What is the Berlin Hardfork of Ethereum?

Before dealing with the Berlin hard fork specification, it is necessary to understand the concept of hard fork in the context of blockchain technology. A hard fork refers to a fundamental change in the protocol of a blockchain network that results in a permanent deviation from the existing blockchain. This divergence creates two separate networks, each with its own set of rules and characteristics.

Berlin Hardfork, Overview

The Berlin hard fork represents a planned upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain aimed at improving its functionality, performance and security. The Berlin Hard Fork, scheduled to take place at block height 12244000, introduces several Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), each addressing specific areas of concern on the network.

Key objectives of the Berlin Hard Fork

Gas cost optimization: One of the main goals of the Berlin Hard Fork is to optimize gas costs in the Ethereum network. Gas fees, which represent the cost of computing resources required to execute transactions and smart contracts, have been a significant hassle for Ethereum users, especially during periods of high network congestion. The implementation of EIP-2565 and EIP-2929 aims to reduce gas costs for certain types of transactions, making Ethereum more affordable for users.

Increased security: Security is very important in blockchain networks, and the Berlin Hard Fork introduces measures to increase the security of the Ethereum network. For example, EIP-2929 introduces tougher penalties for certain types of transactions and prevents potential attacks and vulnerabilities.

Performance Improvement: Given the increasing demand for Ethereum services and the limitations of the current infrastructure, scalability is a critical challenge facing Ethereum. While the Berlin hard fork doesn’t directly address scalability issues, it paves the way for future upgrades that can improve network performance and throughput.

Key EIPs available in the Berlin hard fork

EIP-2565: reducing the cost of gas; The purpose of this proposal is to reduce the gas cost of modular exponential operation, which is usually used in cryptographic calculations. By reducing the gas cost of these operations, Ethereum transactions involving complex cryptographic operations become more affordable, benefiting both users and developers.

EIP-2929: Gas fee increases for state access codes: This proposal introduces increased gas fees for certain types of state access codes, making it more expensive to run certain operations on the Ethereum network. While this may initially result in higher gas costs for some transactions, it ultimately increases the security and robustness of the network by preventing potential attacks.

EIP-2718: Transaction Envelope Type: This proposal introduces a new transaction envelope format that supports multiple transaction types in a single transaction. This enables more efficient and flexible transaction processing on the Ethereum network and paves the way for future protocol upgrades and improvements.

Potential impact on the Ethereum ecosystem

The Berlin hard fork is expected to have several positive effects on the Ethereum ecosystem, including:

Improved User Experience: By reducing gas costs and increasing transaction efficiency, the Berlin Hard Fork improves the overall user experience for Ethereum users and makes the network more accessible and affordable.

Enhanced Security: The security improvements introduced by the Berlin hard fork strengthen the resilience of the Ethereum network and reduce potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Developer-friendly environment: Introducing new features and improvements makes Ethereum a more attractive platform for developers and fosters innovation and growth in the ecosystem.


The Berlin hard fork represents an important milestone in the evolution of the Ethereum network, bringing much-needed improvements in scalability, security, and performance. By addressing key pain points and laying the groundwork for future upgrades, the Berlin hard fork sets the stage for Ethereum to grow and be adopted as a leading blockchain platform. As the Ethereum community embraces these changes and adapts to the new features introduced by the Berlin hard fork, the network is poised to solidify its position as a cornerstone of the decentralized financial ecosystem.