Introduction

On Thursday 5th August 2021, at around 12:19 GMT [1], the Ethereum network will implement a series of changes as part of the "London" upgrade. This will result in a hard fork of the Ethereum network. This hard fork has already been implemented on a number of the testnets. The most controversial change in the London upgrade is EIP-1559 which will change the way gas fees are calculated for each block.

What is Trustology doing around the hard fork?

On Thursday 5th August we will be monitoring the progress of the change and looking for any forks. Our main providers are Infura and Etherscan. Infura have already signalled for the London hard fork so we are expecting it to follow that side of any forks.

We have already implemented baseFee estimates that we are hoping to enable once the fork settles down. Should we detect a fork we will continue to monitor all chains and will update on issues via our status page [2].

Since the gas price mechanisms will change we will be watching gas prices too. We are ready to switch to gasPrices based on the “baseFee” from the block once they become stable however, we will continuously be monitoring the situation.

What could happen?

If there is a fork a number or all of the following could occur:

  • There could be large delay between blocks

  • There could be a very small delay between blocks

  • There could be multiple webhooks fired for the same transactions

  • There could be multiple webhooks fired for a transaction that is ultimately unwound.

  • There could be a large block re-org (a number of transactions could be unwound and possible rejected or added to a different block)

All of the above could happen at any time with blockchains but during a contentious hard fork they are more likely to occur.

What do we suggest you do?

It is difficult to recommend a generic course of action but the following pointers may help.

  • Keep in mind that if all your actions remain “on-chain” (and the same fork) then the issues are likely to be limited as, for example, if a large block re-org occurs, then any spent assets will simply be reverted to the original owners.

  • If you operate off chain (e.g. receive ETH and then pay our GBP) then your risk is greater. It may be possible for you to pay out GBP for assets that may get unwound at a later date.

Our recommendations are:

  • Keep an eye on our status page [2]

  • Decide on your own best course of action during the fork based on the information above and your business requirements. e.g.

    • If it is possible, it may be worth pausing transactions on Ethereum until things have settled down.

    • Alternatively, it may be wise or simply monitor the situation and take corrective action as necessary.

If you have any question please reach out to [email protected]

[1] - https://etherscan.io/block/countdown/12965000

[2] - https://status.trustology.io

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