What is an EIP?

EIP stands for Ethereum Improvement Proposal. These are design documents informing the Ethereum community, particularly its core developers, about new features proposals on Ethereum or changes to the ecosystem’s structure, processes, or environment.

EIPs are designed to provide both precise technical specifications of a new feature and rationale for adopting it. They’re a little like technical white papers. The person who brings up an EIP is responsible for persuading and convincing others in the community and building consensus around the new proposal.

EIP structure

Most successful EIPs are laid out like this:

  • Preamble
  • Simple Summary
  • Abstract
  • Motivation
  • Specification
  • Rationale
  • Backwards Compatibility
  • Test Cases
  • Implementations
  • Copyright Waiver

What is an ERC?

ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment, and “Request for Comment” is a similar concept to that devised by the Internet Engineering Task Force as a means of conveying essential technical notes and requirements to a group of developers and users.

In practice, it is just a subtype of Standards Track EIP, which stands for application-level standards and conventions, including contract standards such as token standards (ERC-20), name registries (ERC-137), URI schemes, library/package formats, and wallet formats.

To dive deeper into the types of EIPs and how to commit one, go to the official definition page in EIP-1.