New EIP hopes to quell tensions between Ethereum’s miners and developers

A new Ethereum Improvement Proposal, or EIP, has emerged amid opposition from miners to scheduled changes to the network’s fee market. While some are looking to the proposal as a means to cool flaring tensions between Ethereum’s miners and developers, the EIP appears to have secured little support from the community.

In recent weeks, tensions have escalated over EIP-1559 — an upgrade slated for integration in July that is expected to discipline Ethereum’s volatile fee market while significantly impacting miner revenues.

The new proposal, EIP-3368, advocates that block rewards immediately be increased to 3 Ether and then reduced to 1 Ether over the two years following 1559’s implementation to ease the impact of Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake on miners.

On March 13, Ethereum developer Tim Beiko took to Twitter to share EIP-3368, encouraging robust debate over the proposal within the Ethereum community. While Beiko emphasized 3368 “is not accepted” or “scheduled for a fork” yet, the developer described the proposal as “the most tangible thing to come out of miner conversations [regarding 1559] in the past few weeks.”

While many mining pools have long opposed EIP-1559, news the upgrade had been scheduled for deployment in July saw prominent miners threaten to organize a “show of force” in which 1559’s opposers would divert their hash power to a single pool for 51 hours.

However, in response to EIP-3368, Red Panda Mining, a social influencer and crypto miner who was among those pushing for a miner rebellion, pledged their support for the proposal and announced they will “rescind from the show of force:”

While the comments from Red Panda and Beiko suggesting Ethereum’s miners and developers may be readying to work towards some form of compromise, discussions regarding EIP-3368 on the Ethereum Magicians forums suggest Ethereum’s community is still very divided.

User “green” describes the proposal as “a subsidy of users to miners to delay impending change,” adding:

“The personal business decisions of miners are not the concern of Ethereum users. You don’t socialize profits, then you don’t socialize losses.”

Other forum-goers emphasized efforts from Ethereum’s core developers to expedite the existing network’s chain-merge with Eth2, describing 3368 as merely delaying the inevitable. “DCInvestor” said: “Further, accommodation of this form only delays the inevitable as we move swiftly towards a merge of eth1 and eth2, where PoW mining rewards will be zero.” 

“IMO, we should avoid measures which encourage further investment in mining hardware by miners given this reality,” they added.

There also appears to be resistance to EIP-3358 from within the miner community, with numerous replies to Red Panda on Twitter indicating many miners still wish to proceed with a show of force.

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