Increase the cost of operating gas, Istanbul upgrade will destroy nearly 680 smart contracts on Arago

According to Coindesk's October 1 report, this week, Ethereum's test network, Ropsten, conducted a comprehensive system upgrade. Although the “Istanbul” upgrade will enhance the efficiency of the Ethereum network, the test network is not running smoothly.

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According to Jorge Izquierdo, chief technology officer of Aragon One, for the governance platform Aragon, the code changes involved in the Istanbul upgrade will destroy nearly 680 smart contracts. These smart contracts run on Ethereum's Decentralized Application (Dapp) and are responsible for managing governance-related projects on the chain.

Izquierdo told CoinDesk that this means that in order to ensure that the decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) established on the Aragon platform continue to operate smoothly, the affected smart contracts need to be forced to upgrade.

Izquierdo said:

So far, different DAOs can receive ETHs from each other, but after hard forks in Istanbul, this will become impossible.

John Light, head of Aragon One, said that in order to transfer funds between DAOs running on Aragon, they must "consume a lot of gas."

Izquierdo said:

This problem has not been amplified, but we can understand that this is a trade-off between system upgrades.

At the same time, Loy Luu, co-founder of Kyber Network, said that for Ethereum's Kyber Network, the upgrade of the entire system will only affect the use of a smart contract.

In the Istanbul fork, code changes affecting certain smart contracts are known as the Ethereum Improvement Protocol (EIP) 1884.

As the blockchain capacity increases, the computational cost of invoking network state data (such as account balances) increases accordingly. But the price of gas has remained indifferent, said Matin Holst Swende, head of the Ethereum Foundation's security department, which led to "the imbalance between operating costs and resource consumption in the Ethereum." In order to reduce the possibility of network overload, EIP 1884 increases the price of three gas that consumes a lot of computational power.

After the upgrade, the gas cost of the SLOAD operation is soaring

For developers building applications on Ethereum, the most costly increase in gas after the upgrade in Istanbul is the SLOAD operation, which increases the gas cost from 200 gas to 800 gas per operation.

Since the amount of gas spent on an SLOAD operation has quadrupled, the smart contracts running on Aragon will be greatly affected, and this will greatly increase the cost of using Kyber network end users.

Luu said:

In a Kyber deal, we use multiple SLOAD operations, so after the Istanbul deal comes into effect, the cost of most of our transactions will rise by more than 30%.

In 2016, the Ethereum network experienced a period of reduced active users and a lower market value of ETH. That is, the cost of gas for an SLOAD operation increased from 50 gas to 200 gas.

Luu said that increasing the cost of SLOAD operations will have a greater impact on end users and application developers.

Luu said earlier this month:

The Istanbul upgrade will destroy many smart contracts. If we don't pay attention to the dialogue between the core developers, we will miss the information of EIP 1884, which is very unfavorable for us.

Despite this, blockchain researcher Mihailo Bjelic said on Monday that "poor development practices" may be the root cause of these problems.

He says:

Developers should never hard-code the cost of gas in their applications, as these numbers may change over time.

Update: UTC time September 30th 19:14: Istanbul upgrade on the test network is ahead of schedule. This article has been updated and new comments have been added.