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Ethereum introduces new hard fork to cut transaction costs

Ethereum introduces new hard fork to cut transaction costs

In a recent Tweet programmer and Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin called a near-future hard fork. This could provide improved scalability to rollups before full sharding is complete.


Final phase of sharding not possible until 2023

Vitalik Buterin wrote the following on Twitter:

“There are proposals to add ‘blob-bearing transactions’ in a near future hard fork. It brings higher scalability for rollups before full sharding is complete.”

According to JP Morgan strategists in a report in early January, the final phase of sharding may not happen until 2023. Sharding is crucial for scaling the network. It appears that full scale-up will take at least a year. So it will take some time.

A recent Ethereum note shared by Tim Beiko, Ethereum developer, notes that transaction fees on Ethereum L1 have been very high for months. There is a greater urgency to do what is needed to help support an ecosystem-wide migration to rollups.


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Only reliable scaling solution

Rollups are seen as the only reliable scaling solution for Ethereum in the short and medium term. Maybe even in the long run. Rollups can drastically cut costs for many Ethereum users. However, these prices for the average Ethereum user seem prohibitive.

Remarkably, Optimism and Arbitrum rollups often offer rates nearly 3-8 times lower than the Ethereum base tier itself. The same goes for ZK rollups, which have better data compression and can avoid including signatures. These rollups have rates that are almost 40-100 times lower than the base tier.

Buterin claims plans for a near future hard fork to introduce “blob-bearing transactions” are already in the works. The goal is to improve the scalability of rollups. By implementing the transaction format that would be used in sharding, but not actually sharing those transactions, this EIP would provide a stopgap solution until the transaction format would be used in sharding.

This provides rollups with temporary scale relief. The rollups are said to be scaled up to 2MB per slot with a separate cost market. This allows the rates to be kept low while the use is limited.


Sharding and the long-term solution

Data sharding, which would add nearly 16MB per block of dedicated data space to the chain for rollups to use, has always been Ethereum’s long-term solution to the long-term inadequacy of rollups.

Data sharding, on the other hand, will take a long time to complete implementation and distribution. Sharding has been a concept since Ethereum’s inception in 2013. It will be implemented as part of Ethereum’s latest Proof-of-Stake (PoS) update.

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