Vitalik Buterin proposes calldata limit per block to lower ETH gas costs

Vitalik Buterin proposes calldata limit per block to lower ETH gas costs


Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has proposed a new limit on the total transaction calldata in a block to decrease the overall transaction calldata gas cost over the ETH network. 

Buterin’s post on the Ethereum Magicians forum, EIP-4488, highlights concerns regarding high transaction fees on Layer-1 blockchains for rollups and the considerable amount of time to implement and deploy data sharding:

“Hence, a short-term solution to further cut costs for rollups, and to incentivize an ecosystem-wide transition to a rollup-centric Ethereum, is desired.”

While the entrepreneur cited an alternative wherein the gas costs parameters could be decreased without further adding a limit to the block size, he foresees a security concern in decreasing the calldata gas cost from 16 to 3:

“[This] would increase the maximum block size to 10M bytes and push the Ethereum p2p networking layer to unprecedented levels of strain and risk breaking the network.”

Buterin issued a decrease-cost-and-cap proposal, which aims to achieve most of the benefits of the decrease, and believes that “1.5 MB will be sufficient while preventing most of the security risk.” As an advice to the Ethereum community, he wrote:

“It’s worth rethinking the historical opposition to multi-dimensional resource limits and considering them as a pragmatic way to simultaneously achieve moderate scalability gains while retaining security.”

If accepted, the implementation of the proposal will require a scheduled network upgrade, resulting in a backward-incompatible gas repricing for the Ethereum ecosystem. This upgrade will also mean that miners will have to comply with a new rule that prevents the addition of new transactions into a block when the total calldata size reaches the maximum. “A worst-case scenario would be a theoretical long-run maximum of ~1,262,861 bytes per 12 sec slot, or ~3.0 TB per year,” the proposal read.

However, the community is discussing other options like the implementation of a soft limit. Others raised concerns about the congestion during nonfungible token (NFT) sales, which may require users to compensate for the lack of execution gas by paying a higher total fee.

Related: Layer-two and multichain DeFi platforms see record inflows as Ethereum fees soar

Rising gas fees have resulted in an outflow of users from the Ethereum network to lower-cost Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible networks.

As Cointelegraph reported on Nov. 04, Etherscan data shows that approving a token to be transacted on Uniswap decentralized finance protocol can cost as much as $50 worth in ETH.

Average Ethereum gas cost. Source: Etherscan

Additionally, Layer-two solutions, which were billed as the protocols that would help solve the fee issue, have been charging high fees due to network congestion amid the onboarding of new users.


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