Vitalik’s proposal to raise the gas limit worries Ethereum developers

Ethereum developers

Ethereum developers worry about the growing size of the blockchain state, which is why they are against Vitalik’s proposal to raise the gas cap.

The increasing size of the blockchain state can lead to challenges such as longer synchronization times for new nodes and higher storage requirements, potentially impacting the decentralization and efficiency of the Ethereum network.

Ethereum trend: Ethereum transaction cost
Ethereum trend: Ethereum transaction cost

Buterin supported a “modest” 33% hike in the petrol limit on January 11 in an effort to perhaps boost network throughput.

He contended that raising the gas limit from the existing 30 million to the proposed 40 million will enable more transactions for each block, hence potentially boosting the network’s total capacity and throughput.

But there are also disadvantages, as Ethereum engineer Marius van der Wijden notes. He expressed his worries in a blog post titled “Why increasing the gas limit is difficult” on January 11.

The growth in the blockchain state’s size, which houses data on smart contracts and account balances, is the main cause for concern.

He stated that the state currently needs about 267 gigabytes (GB) of space in total, and that “this size will grow even quicker if we increase the gas limit.”

As of right now, Blockchair estimates that the whole history data size of the Ethereum blockchain is approximately 900GB.

This staggering size underscores the immediate challenges Ethereum developers face in managing and optimizing the blockchain state.

The proposed increase in the gas cap by Vitalik has sparked debates within the community, as it could potentially exacerbate the existing concerns related to blockchain size

Everyone will be able to store that much data, according to Wijden, who also noted that there are “no concrete solutions yet for state growth.” Wijden contended that storage is inexpensive, therefore size is not a concern.

Higher constraints, he continued, also lengthen synchronisation times and complicate the process of developing a broad clientele.

Martin Köppelmann, a co-founder of Gnosis, expressed worries as well, claiming that if the gas limit were lifted, there would also be an increase in bandwidth.

An increase in bandwidth requirements could pose challenges for network participants, potentially impacting accessibility and participation in the Ethereum ecosystem

Péter Szilágyi, the leader of the Ethereum team, has expressed worries with raising the petrol cap.

There is undoubtedly a drawback to raising it. DoS potential will increase, state will expand more quickly, and sync time will slow down more quickly”.

The maximum effort and gas used to carry out Ethereum transactions or smart contracts in each block is referred to as the “gas limit.” It is configured to prevent excessive block sizes, which could affect synchronisation and network speed.

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Blockchain storage
Ethereum developers: blockchain storage

Upgrades like EIP-4444, which addresses chain history expiration, and EIP-4844, which uses “blobs” to enable rollup data availability, are examples of potential solutions that can be implemented to slow down long-term growth trends.

In response to Vitalik’s Reddit post, software developer Micah Zoltu stated that the objective ought to be making it possible for regular people to run Ethereum nodes on their computers. But if the state and the blockchain expand in size over time, this will become a more difficult task.

“Making sure you can run an Ethereum node on a $X machine shouldn’t be our aim. Demographic X ought to be able to operate an Ethereum node”, he stated.

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