Vitalik Buterin proposes Ethereum gas model overhaul

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has proposed a new Ethereum Improvement Protocol (EIP) 7706 focused on a new gas model for the transaction call data.

Ethereum-based transactions currently have two types of gas fees: one for transaction execution, which covers the computational effort required to perform a transaction, and one for storage, which is the cost of storing data in “blobs.”

Buterin’s (EIP) 7706 proposes a third form of gas exclusively for call data, the portion of an Ethereum transaction containing key data transmitted to smart contracts.

This means the Ethereum blockchain will allocate a unique charge to data transferred during transactions, separate from the costs of executing contract code or storing data.

The new gas model will add a transaction type that provides max_basefee and priority_fee as a vector, providing values for execution gas, blob gas and call data gas.

At present, the base fee adjustment uses separate mechanisms for the transaction execution cost and the data storage in the form of blobs.

However, Buterin suggested that with the introduction of a third type of gas fee, the Ethereum network should adopt a common approach for all three types of gas fees.

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The move aims to reduce the transaction costs associated with transactions that are data-heavy but not necessarily computationally intensive. If the proposal is accepted, the Ethereum network will be responsible for setting the call data costs independently of other costs.

Buterin recommended managing all three forms of gas via a dynamic model that modifies fees simultaneously.

Buterin suggested that by implementing a separate gas fee for call data, The “theoretical max call data size of a block would be greatly reduced, while basic economic analysis suggests that on average, call data would become considerably cheaper.”

The Ethereum network has struggled with gas fee issues for years now and the main motivation to move from the proof-of-work mining consensus to a proof-of-stake (PoS) was to become more scalable and less costly.

However, such critical changes haven’t improved the network’s scalability as promised. Thus, these EIPs come in as a timely aid for the network.

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