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30 May 2023

EIP-4758 and EIP-6780 | Removal of Selfdestruct

Dedaub was commissioned by the Ethereum Foundation to perform an impact study of Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) 4758 and 6780 on existing contracts. EIP-4758 proposes to deactivate SELFDESTRUCT by changing it to SENDALL, which recovers all funds (in ETH) to the beneficiary without deleting any code or storage. On the other hand, EIP-6780 modifies SELFDESTRUCT to work only in the same transaction in which the contract was created, while in all other cases it recovers all funds but does not delete any other account data.

The aim of this study is (i) to help the Ethereum community decide whether to implement, based on the impact of these changes to the ecosystem, EIP-4758 or EIP-6780. In either case we also aimed to (ii) find out which projects are affected and by how much. To evaluate the impact of these proposed changes, we performed comprehensive queries over past on-chain behaviors of smart contacts and queries on code and bytecode of deployed contracts; inspected code manually; checked balances, approvals, and contract proxying state; and informally interviewed developers.

The study found that a small number of known projects and many smart contracts, mainly involved in Miner Extractable Value (MEV) bot networks, would be affected. Quantitatively, over 98% of SELFDESTRUCT-CREATE2 pairs in known contracts would remain unaffected if EIP-6780 is implemented, while the impact of EIP-4758 is less certain. Metamorphic contracts used for upgrades were found to be rare. If implemented today, EIP-4758 could affect some functionalities of certain projects, including AxelarNetwork, Pine Finance, Revest, and JPEGd (with high impact), and Sorbet Finance, Celer, Gelato, Ricmoo’s Wisps, Chainhop Protocol (with low impact), and Thousand Ether Homepage (with moderate impact). However, most of these projects could be upgraded in time for a deployment of the proposed EIPs.

Based on this, we judged the impact of EIP-4758 and EIP-6780 to be manageable and could be a net positive due to the simplification of Ethereum Clients’ implementations, especially if EIP-6780 is selected.

EIP-4758 and EIP-6780 | Removal of Selfdestruct

The study used dynamic analysis and static program analysis, along with smart contract inspection and transaction debugging.

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