Vitalik Buterin Suggests Limit on Calldata Per Block to Reduce ETH Gas Fees
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), has suggested a new restriction on the total amount of transaction calldata that may be stored in a block in order to reduce the overall transaction calldata gas cost throughout the Ethereum network.
Buterin’s post on the Ethereum Magicians forum, EIP-4488, raises concerns about high transaction fees on Layer-1 blockchains for rollups, as well as the significant amount of time required to implement and deploy data sharding: “High transaction fees on Layer-1 blockchains for rollups and the significant amount of time required to implement and deploy data sharding”
It is thus desirable to find a short-term solution to further lower costs for rollups while also incentivizing an ecosystem-wide move to a rollup-centric Ethereum. While the entrepreneur suggested a solution in which the gas prices parameters might be reduced without further restricting the block size, he believes that dropping the calldata gas cost from 16 to 3 will pose a security risk:
“[This] would boost the maximum block size to 10M bytes and subject the Ethereum peer-to-peer networking layer to unprecedented levels of pressure, with the possibility of the network collapsing. With the decrease-cost-and-cap plan, Buterin hopes to meet the objective of lowering unprecedented levels of pressure and danger of the network failing. He thinks that “1.5 MB will be adequate while preventing the majority of security risks.”
Specifically, he offered this advice to the Ethereum community: “It’s worth revisiting the historical aversion to multi-dimensional resource limitations, and seeing them as a sensible method to simultaneously make modest scalability increases while maintaining security.”
In order to put the plan into effect, a scheduled network update will be required, which would result in a gas repricing that is incompatible with the Ethereum ecosystem’s previous gas pricing. This update will also result in miners being required to adhere to a new rule that prohibits the inclusion of additional transactions into a block when the total calldata size exceeds a certain threshold.
“A worst-case scenario would result in a theoretical long-run limit of 1,262,861 bytes per 12 sec slot, or almost 3.0 TB per year,” according to the proposal’s language.
A soft limit, for example, is being discussed by the community as an alternative solution to the current situation. Others expressed worry about the congestion that may occur during nonfungible token (NFT) sales, which may force users to compensate for the lack of execution gas by paying a higher total cost to compensate for the shortage of execution gas.
The increasing cost of gas has resulted in a migration of users away from the Ethereum network and onto lower-cost Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible networks. On November 04, for example, statistics from Etherscan revealed that the approval process for a token that would be exchanged on the Uniswap decentralized finance protocol may cost up to $50 in ETH. Layer-two solutions, which were hailed as the protocols that would assist in resolving the fee problem, have also been accused of collecting excessive fees as a result of network congestion caused by the onboarding of new users.