Polygon Labs, the team behind the Polygon network, has announced plans to hard fork the network next week.
According to a blog post on Polygon’s website, the hard fork, set to occur on January 17th, is proposed to help prevent network gas fee spikes and address chain reorganizations, also known as reorgs.
Unlike soft forks, hard forks are not backwards-compatible and require all node operators on the network to update to the latest software at a specified time.
Polygon, an Ethereum sidechain that operates on the proof-of-stake mechanism, sees dramatically lower gas fees than the Ethereum mainnet.
However, it’s not immune to traffic spikes that can slow the network. Last year, the NFT game “Sunflower Farmers” clogged the network.
The hard fork aims to reduce gas fee spikes by doubling the value of the “BaseFeeChangeDenominator,” which Polygon says will “help smooth out the increase/decrease rate in baseFee for when the gas exceeds or falls below the target gas limits in a block.”
Polygon also aims to minimize reorgs, which can occur because of network errors or malicious attacks and cause the network to temporarily split in two.
This can lead to lost or duplicate transactions. The hard fork update will reduce the sprint length from the current 64 blocks to 16 blocks, which could reduce the likelihood of reorgs.
All Polygon node operators will have to upgrade their nodes before January 17th to prepare for the hard fork, but holders of Polygon token MATIC will not need to take any action.
Any decentralized applications (dapps) such as Web3 games will not need to take action either.