March 26, 2023

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) are a way for Ethereum (ETH) developers to submit proposals to improve the blockchain. How does the acceptance of an EIP take place and which are the most important for the evolution of the Ethereum network?

What is an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)?

The Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) are a mechanism for submitting proposals to improve the Ethereum blockchain. These proposals may relate to changes within the Ethereum protocol itself or changes to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

These proposals, commonly referred to as “EIPs”, are submitted by Ethereum developers and reviewed by the community before being accepted or rejected. If a proposal is accepted, it can be implemented in a later version of Ethereum.

EIPs play an important role in the development process of Ethereum and are used to propose and discuss new ideas to improve the blockchain as a whole. They also help define common standards for the Ethereum ecosystem.which contributes to its adoption.

👉 Find our complete presentation of the Ethereum blockchain

The different types of EIP

There are 3 types of EIP each with different purposes and roles.

“Standard Track” EIPs

EIPs of this type affect most or all Ethereum implementations, such as a change in protocol, a change in block or transaction validity rules, proposed application standards/conventions, or any change or addition that affects the interoperability of applications using Ethereum. Standard EIPs are divided into the following categories:

  1. Core : improvements requiring a consensus fork;
  2. networking : improvements around devp2p, a set of network protocols that form the Ethereum network;
  3. Interface : improvements around customer specifications and API/RPC standards, as well as some language standards;
  4. ERC : specific to application standards intended to standardize certain functionalities of the Ethereum ecosystem. Examples include EIP-20 and EIP-721, which respectively define the ERC-20 token standard and the ERC-721 non-fungible token standard.

Ethereum ETH

“Meta” EIPs

A “Meta” EIP is a proposed improvement to the Ethereum network that addresses the EIP process itself, rather than proposing a change to the Ethereum protocol or other implementation. EIPs of this type can be used to propose changes to the EIP process, request the creation of new EIP categories, or request the withdrawal of an EIP.

“Informational” EIPs

These EIPs are intended to describe an Ethereum design issue, provide guidelines or general information to the Ethereum community. They have the particularity of not offering any new functionality.

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5 steps forge acceptance process of an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP).

First step: presenting the idea

The idea of ​​one or more developers is presented as a suggestion on the Ethereum forums to gather community feedback.

Second step: creating the draft

After hearing the feedback from the community, the developer(s) start actively working on the EIP. A draft EIP is created.

Third step: the last call

At this point, the proposal from the developer(s) appears on the dedicated EIP website. Last comments from the community are gathered in order to eventually update the code and propose a revised version of the EIP.

Ethereum ETH

Fourth step: acceptance

This status indicates that the EIP is considered ready for implementation by Ethereum blockchain client developers.

Fifth step: the final presentation

This last stage corresponds to a state in which the EIP must only be updated to correct any errors. In addition, other states can also be applied to the EIP:

  • Rejected : the implementation of the EIP is no longer envisaged;
  • Postponed : the HIA is postponed for later consideration;
  • Replaced : a new EIP has been proposed and replaces or cancels this EIP;
  • Took of : the author of the EIP has withdrawn his proposal.

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Some Notable EIPs in Ethereum History

EIP-1: the genesis of Ethereum

As its name suggests, the EIP-1 ​​is the first EIP, created on October 27, 2015. This EIP describes in great detail the objectives and guidelines to be followed by all future EIPs. formulated by the Ethereum community. It is therefore the original EIP, from which all the other EIPs of the Ethereum blockchain will derive.

EIP-20: the introduction of ERC-20 tokens

The EIP-20 is certainly the best known EIP in the Ethereum ecosystem. In effect, it is this EIP that offers the implementation of the famous ERC-20 token standard, which is used by the vast majority of applications and protocols that develop on Ethereum. The introduction of this token standard is the first step for Ethereum towards its mass adoption, as it has become the blockchain that hosts the most tokens.

EIP-137: Ethereum domain names

EIP-137 births the Ethereum domain name system. Ethereum’s default address format is a 40-character hexadecimal string, which consists of the “0x” prefix and the last 20 bytes of the Ethereum address, which is the public key hash. This format can be confusing for users and also makes it difficult to detect errors in entering the address. The EIP-137 then proposes to modify the format of the address so that it is readable by humans.

It is thanks to the EIP-137 that the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) protocol was born. Users can then buy Ethereum domain names like “France.eth” and link this domain name to an Ethereum address. Thus, if any entity wishes to send ETH to this user’s address, it will only need to know the France.eth address, since it will have been linked to the user’s hexadecimal address.

👉 What is Ethereum Name Service (ENS)?

EIP-721: the birth of non-fungible tokens

Ethereum Improvement Proposal 721 is a proposed standard interface for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. NFTs are unique digital assets that cannot be replicated and are typically used to represent digital collectibles, such as artwork or virtual items from a video game.

The EIP-721 provides a standard way to create, manage, and transfer NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, making it easier for developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) that use NFTs.

👉 Learn more about non-fungible tokens (NFT)

EIP-779: Rewriting Blockchain History

EIP-779 is undoubtedly one of the most controversial EIPs in Ethereum history.. It was this EIP that made it possible to “absorb” the multi-million dollar hack of The DAO. EIP-779 rewrote the entire history of the Ethereum blockchain from when The DAO was hacked. The idea behind this operation was to return the stolen funds to their owners.

As a result of this hard fork, the Ethereum community was split into two groups, each recognizing its own blockchain. The one that applied EIP-1559 is the Ethereum blockchain as we know itwhile the other blockchain that has not implemented it is Ethereum Classic.

👉 June 17, 2016, the day The DAO exploded in midair

EIP-1559: Ethereum gets a burn function

EIP-1559 is a proposed change to Ethereum blockchain transaction fees. Before EIP-1559 was accepted, fees were based on a “first-price auction” model, where Ethereum users bid for the right to have their transactions included in the next block by offering to pay higher fees than others.

EIP-1559 proposes to replace this model with a “base fee” model, in which there is a fixed base fee for each transaction, and a “tip” which is used to incentivize miners to include transactions in a block. Since the implementation of EIP-1559, Ethereum blockchain transaction fees are therefore dynamically adjusted according to network congestion, in order to maintain a consistent block time and reduce the possible fluctuation of transaction fees.

Moreover, EIP-1559 also incorporates a “burn” mechanism aimed at burning basic transaction fees instead of sending them to the minerwhich makes it possible, depending on the degree of use of the Ethereum network, to reduce the overall supply of Ether in circulation over the long term.

👉 See the list of all EIPs here

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