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EIP-4444

EIP-4444 is an  that aims to make lighter and easier to run by pruning historical data reducing the storage burden on full nodes with the purging of old data, which is one of main in the Purge upgrade for Ethereum. With the implementation of EIP-4444, full nodes(historical data) are no longer required to store data that is more than one year old—essentially creating more storage space for the full nodes.[1][3][7]

Overview

EIP-4444 is a proposal to improve the scalability of the network by reducing storage requirements for full nodes. While it comes with some limitations regarding historical data access, there are ongoing efforts to develop decentralized storage solutions to mitigate this.

The EIP-4444 is a relatively old that was created in 2021 but resurfaced after repurposed it for The Purge Upgrade. Title of EIP-4444 is "Bound Historical Data in Execution Clients" and it prunes historical data in clients older than one year.[1][2]

According to , EIP-4444 has the potential to significantly boost the decentralization of Ethereum’s . Along with the announcement that has removed support for pre-Merge () networks, the Ethereum co-founder revealed that thousands of lines of code have been purged.[6]

Full nodes currently store the entire history of the Ethereum blockchain, which can take up a significant amount of storage space around 12 TB. EIP-4444 proposes that full nodes can prune, or delete, data that is over one year old. This frees up storage space for nodes to run more efficiently.

By allowing full nodes to discard old data, EIP-4444 aims to make running a full node more accessible. This could incentivize more people to participate in securing the Ethereum network.

After was implemented, Ethereum's focus upgrade was shifted from the to the and the EIP-4444. Through the EIP-4444, the focus of The Purge will be on increasing the scalability aspect of Ethereum as well as the decentralization aspect. [2]

Benefits

On Jan. 11, 2024 advocated for a modest 33% gas limit increase to potentially improve network throughput. The gas limit refers to the maximum amount of work and gas spent executing Ethereum transactions or in each block. It is set to ensure that blocks are not too large, which would impact network performance and synchronization. Potential solutions include upgrades like EIP-4444 tackling chain history expiration and for data availability using “,” which will help curb long-term growth trends.[4]

The implementation of EIP-4444 will give benefits to nodes or as well as users and developers. For nodes, there will be cheaper requirements to be a full node on the Ethereum Blockchain because less storage space is needed. For users and developers, the transaction cost will decrease because there are fewer costs on the storage side of the nodes. [2]

Drawbacks

If a full node prunes data, it will not be able to serve requests for information older than limited one year directly. And nodes would need new ways to update and align with Ethereum’s current blockchain state, as they won’t hold the entire transaction history. To achieve that, historical data will need to be extracted and served to users through alternative methods, ensuring continued access to the information while streamlining node operations. Some methods include data indexing services like , off-chain storage solutions, data torrents, and services.[3]

Authors

  • George Kadianakis.
  • lightclient.
  • Alex Stokes.
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EIP-4444

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July 7, 2024

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