What Is EIP?
EIPs, short for Ethereum Improvement Proposals, are essential to Ethereum because they allow community members to propose, debate, and adopt new changes to the network. Additionally, EIPs are one way the Ethereum blockchain documents changes to its network.
Why Are EIPs Important?
Whenever a network update arrives on Ethereum, it consists of a set of EIPs. Each Ethereum client must implement these EIPs in order for the network to adopt them. For clients to stay in consensus with one another on the Ethereum mainnet, they all must adopt the same EIPs.
EIPs are also an essential governance tool since Ethereum is open-source. Anyone can propose an EIP and discuss whether it is something to be adopted or dismissed.
Types of EIPs
Standard Track: These EIPs affect most of, if not all, Ethereum implementations. This includes network protocol changes, transaction or block validity rules, changes to the interoperability of Ethereum applications, or proposing standards and conventions to follow. Standard track EIPs are broken down into six categories:
- Core — The core type is a change that requires a consensus fork, and changes need to be input from core developers.
- Network — These improvements are typically in line with network protocol specifications and improvements around devp2p.
- Interface — This includes improvements on RPC/API specifications and standards along with language-level standards.
- ERC — These changes affect token standards, URI schemes, name registries, library/package formats, and account abstraction.
- Meta — This typically proposes a change to an event or a process on Ethereum. For example, changes to decision-making processes, tool changes in Ethereum development, and guidelines.
- Informational — These are changes that relate specifically to design.