Polygon implements hard fork to reduce gas spikes


Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Polygon has undergone a hard fork to reduce gas spikes and address issues that have impacted users on its proof-of-stake (PoS) chain.

The fork was code into block 38,189,056 and no centralised actor initiated the shift. Polygon informed validators that they would have to update their nodes earlier this week.

87% of the 15 voters making up Polygon’s governance team voted in favour of increasing the BaseFeeChangeDenominator function from 8 to 16 to reduce gas fee spikes and to decrease the SprintLength function from 64 blocks to 16 as a fix to chain reorganisation issues.

The decision came after weeks of preliminary discussion on the Polygon Improvement Proposal (PIP) forum page in December.

Polygon’s gas spike issue is caused by exponential spikes in the network’s base fee price when on-chain activity increases dramatically. By increasing the denominator from 8 to 16, the team believes severe fluctuations in gas prices can be smoothed out, flattening the growth curve.

With the chain reorganisation problem, Polygon said that a decreased sprint length will help transaction finality to improve. This means a single block producer can add blocks continuously at a frequency of 32 seconds as opposed to the previous 128 seconds.

“The change will not affect the total time or number of blocks a validator produces, so there will be no change in rewards overall,” the team said.

Chain reorganisation can happen if a block is deleted to make room for the new chain as a means of ensuring all node operators have the same copy of the ledger.

The Polygon team has added that Polygon token holders and applications running on the network were not affected by the hard fork.

Polygon’s token (MATIC) is up 15% this week following the hard fork’s announcement on 12 January.

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