Polygon’s Blockchain to Undergo Hard Fork

The software upgrade scheduled for Jan. 17 will address gas spikes and chain reorganization.

AccessTimeIconJan 12, 2023 at 9:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 12, 2023 at 9:36 p.m. UTC

Ethereum scaling project Polygon has announced a proposed hard fork to its proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain.

If approved, the software upgrade is set to take place on Jan. 17, and will address gas spikes and chain reorganization (reorgs).

The hard fork discussion was first introduced to the Polygon community in December 2022

What's in the hard fork?

The first change in Polygon’s new fork involves an adjustment to how it sets gas fees – a kind of tax one pays out to a blockchain in order to transact on it. With the fork, Polygon aims to reduce the spikes in gas prices that tend to occur when there is a lot of activity on the chain.

“Although gas will still increase during peak demand, it will be more in line with the way Ethereum gas dynamics work now,” Polygon said in a statement shared with CoinDesk. “The goal is to smooth out spikes and ensure a more seamless experience when interacting with the chain.”

The second proposed change addresses reorgs, which can occur when a validator node – one of the computers operating the Polygon blockchain – receives information that temporarily creates a new version of the blockchain. Such an event makes it difficult to properly verify if a transaction has been successful, since nodes will need to reconcile which chain is the correct one (otherwise known as the “canonical” one).

To address its problem of relatively frequent reorgs, Polygon wants to reduce the amount of time it takes to finalize a block to verify successful transactions. The plan is for Polygon’s “sprint length” to be reduced from 64 to 16 blocks, meaning that a block producer can produce blocks for a much shorter time period, from (128 seconds to 32 seconds).


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Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.