Buterin proposes new 'multi-dimensional' Ethereum fee structure

Time:2022-01-06 Source: 917 views Trending Copy share

According to Buterin, calculating different gas prices based on different resource usage could simplify Ethereum’s current fee structure.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has again given serious thought to trying to improve the current network fee structure.

The proposal, titled "Multidimensional EIP-1559," was presented in a blog post on Jan. 5, with Buterin noting that different resources in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) have different requirements in terms of gas usage.

He added that short-term "burst" capacity has different constraints, such as block data storage, witness data storage, and block state size changes, compared to "sustained" capacity within the EVM.

"Our scheme today, which combines all resources into a single multidimensional resource ('gas'), does a poor job of dealing with these differences."

The problem, he added, is that directing all the different resources into a single resource leads to "very suboptimal gas costs" when those limits are inconsistent.

Buterin sums up his proposed rather complex change with a lot of technical math, but in short, the proposal offers two potential solutions using "multi-dimensional" pricing.

The first solution is to divide the base cost per unit of resource by the total base cost to calculate the gas cost of invoking resources such as data and storage. The base fee is a fixed network fee per block included in the EIP-1559 algorithm.

A second, more complex scenario is to set a base fee for using the resource, but include a burst limit for each resource. There will also be a "priority fee", set as a percentage and calculated by multiplying the percentage by the base fee.

The downside of a multi-dimensional fee structure, he said, is that “block builders won’t be able to simply accept transactions in order of gas fees from high to low.” They have to balance the dimensions and solve additional math problems.

It remains to be seen whether the proposal will pass, as the focus is now on the next major upgrade. The Ethereum network is currently preparing for a “merger,” which will allow the Ethereum blockchain to interface with the Beacon Chain, effectively ending proof-of-work. Testing is already underway on the Kintsugi testnet, with full deployment expected in the first quarter of this year.

EIP-1559 was deployed in August as part of the London upgrade to burn some transaction fees, making gas pricing more predictable. Since it went live, 1.36 million ETH has been burned, worth about $4.7 billion at current prices, according to burn tracking data. (Cointelegraph)

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