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Polygon plans Jan. 17 hard fork to reduce gas fees


Ethereum (ETH) Layer-2 network Polygon (MATIC) proposed a hard fork on Jan. 17 to reduce gas spikes and address chain reorganizations by changing the BaseFeeChangeDenominator, according to a Jan. 12 statement.

Polygon gas spike reduction

Although Polygon boasts better scalability and cheaper fees than Ethereum, it is not immune to gas spikes during network congestion.

The hard fork proposal is designed to reduce these gas spikes by changing the BaseFeeChangeDenominator to 16 from 8, dropping base gas fees to 6.25% from 12.5%.

The design will smoothen the rate at which the base fee increases or decreases when the gas fee is higher or lower than the target gas limits for a block.

Polygon added that gas fees will still increase during peak demand. However, it will align with how Ethereum gas dynamics work.

“The goal is to smooth out spikes and ensure a more seamless experience when interacting with the chain.”

Chain reorganization

The hard fork also fixes chain reorganization (reorgs) by decreasing sprint length to 16 blocks from 64. This will significantly reduce the time a block producer can continuously produce blocks and the depth of reorgs.

While this won’t affect transaction time, it is expected to reduce the depth and frequency of reorgs, thereby improving transaction finality.

The hard fork will not affect how users interact with Polygon or its decentralized applications. Node operators have to upgrade their nodes before Jan. 17.

Polygon has enjoyed significant growth over the past year, attracting several brands and projects to the network. Asides from these short-term technical upgrades, the layer2 network is also working on long-term upgrades like parallelization.

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