Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ethereum’s fees higher than Bitcoin’s for a record two straight months

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Ethereum (ETH) transaction fees have exceeded those on the Bitcoin (BTC) network for two months straight.

Crypto market data aggregator Messari tweeted about the streak on October 8, noting it is the longest period that Ethereum’s transaction fee revenue has exceeded Bitcoin’s in the crypto asset’s history.

Ethereum fees skyrocketed into new all-time highs during August as the decentralized finance (DeFi) bubble began to shift into high-gear. The smart contracts underpinning DeFi protocols typically require the execution of multiple Ethereum transactions, exacerbating network congestion.

Average Ethereum fees currently sit at roughly $2, down from September’s record high above $14.

The surge in transaction costs has reignited vigorous debate within the Ethereum community as to how the network should adapt in the interim before the completion of ETH 2.0’s roll-out, which is currently expected some time in 2022.

On Oct. 8, ConsenSys developer Tim Beiko published the findings from a survey gauging the sentiment of 25 teams building on Ethereum regarding what is known as the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP)-1559.

EIP-1559 proposes reforming Ethereum’s fee market to adopt a fixed rate network fee for each block including a small tip for miners. A share of the fees would be burned according to congestion levels at the time of the block’s creation.

Of those surveyed, 60% responded in favor of EIP-1559, with roughly 13% expressing negative sentiment, and 27% offering a neutral opinion. The teams included exchanges, wallets, on-chain applications, and miners. Developers responded favorably to EIP-1559’s gas price predictability and burn mechanism. Beiko reported:

“The main benefits that projects see with EIP-1559 are the predictability of gas prices, especially for projects who set them for their users, and the fact that ETH is burnt in each transaction.”

However, frequently expressed qualms regarding EIP-1559 included the possible impact on miners’ revenue, concerns surrounding its implementation, and the lack of formal specifications surrounding the proposal. 

Unsurprisingly, eight of the nine mining firms queried asserted they would reject EIP-1559 if it was introduced as a hard fork.

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