The Ethereum hard fork completed, everything went smoothly and according to plan. Approximately 4,000 ethereum tokens got burnt just hours after its completion. So, in layman's terms what does this upgrade mean?
EIP = Ethereum Improvement Proposal
EIP-1559 - A proposal that introduces a base fee that fluctuates according to network congestion. The fee is now calculated by the protocol automatically instead of the miners making it less volatile and more predictable. It aims to keep the network usage at 50%, which means if a block exceeds 50% capacity the base fee increases and if it's below 50% it decreases. The base fee is then burnt, increasing or decreasing ethereum's supply over time. If a user would like to process their transaction quickly a tipping fee is used, this fee goes directly to the miners incentivising them to include the transaction in the next block.
EIP-3198 - A Proposal that extends EIP-1559 improvements to smart contracts.
EIP-3529 - A Proposal that removes and reduces some of the gas refunds when clearing storage slots and contracts that are no longer needed. This makes the network more stable but also less attractive to refund exploits.
EIP-3541 - A Proposal that doesn't do much now but sets the stage for future developments.
EIP-3554 - Delays the difficulty bomb also known as the “Ice age” until December 2021. This was a mechanism introduced to freeze mining as the network transitions to Proof-of-stake.
If you wish to dive deeper we highly recommend reading ethereum foundation announcement: https://blog.ethereum.org/2021/07/15/london-mainnet-announcement/
Here's a website that keeps track of burned ETH per block: https://ethburned.info/