In EIP-1559, there was no limit to offering tips to miners. Although this fix vulnerability implies a big improvement, it is necessary to test if the patch works.

The Ethereum EIP-1559 improvement proposal, whose main goal is to reduce commissions on the network, had a vulnerability that would permit a malicious actor to create congestion in the blockchain, making it difficult or impossible to use it. The error has already been amended in a new proposal code.

Martin Holst Swende, a security leader at the Ethereum Foundation, was the one who spotted the problem. EIP-1559 did not include a limit on the maximum amount of “tip” that miners can reach, if the amount is too high and many transactions occur in this way, the network could suffer an overload. This can be a potential denial of service (DoS), an attack against mempool.

The problem became a serious topic in a developer call that took place on May 28, right after Holst Swende identified the struggle. Tim Beiko, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation who took part in the call, explains that, without the implementation of EIP-1559, this kind of attack becomes possible because it is necessary to have the proper funds to pay for the commissions.

Instead, after this improvement proposal was activated, it would be possible to propose any amount as a tip to the miners, even if there are insufficient funds. Too many of these “fake tip” transactions could render the network unusable.

Along with the problem Swended detected, he rapidly came up with a solution. This solution consisted of adding four lines of code to the enhancement proposal, preventing tips from being set with “incredibly large numbers.” In addition, it is established that “the sender must be able to cover all the maximum resources that he claims.”

EIP-1559 on Ethereum is an Expected and Questioned Alternative to Fix Vulnerability

The improvement proposal will face its implementation in June, in parallel with the London hard fork. In summary, this EIP will set a basic commission, which will go through burning procedures, and the chance of awarding tips to miners.

Those users who are optimistic about this implementation expect that EIP-1559 will create a reduction in commissions on the network, as well as a decrease in the inflation rate of ether (ETH), Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency.

In addition, there are those users who are skeptical that this event would ever happen. Among them is Taylor Monahan, founder of MyCrypto. She argues that the only thing that defines what people pay is what the market agrees for them to pay.

For this reason, users would tend to offer higher amounts as tips so that their transactions face their confirmation first, as is currently the case with commissions. In addition, the price of “gas” after EIP-1559 will also reach a high peak if the price of ETH rises.

If Monahan is right, the only seemingly viable solution to the problem of high commissions will be the use of second layer solutions or side chains, while waiting for Ethereum 2.0 to arrive with its new rules of the game.

By: Jenson Nuñez


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