Ethereum will introduce a new transaction format to reduce gas fees

Ethereum may introduce a new transaction type to cut gas fees.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin mentioned a near-future hard fork that could deliver improved scalability to rollups before full sharding is completed.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin | Image: Optimisus

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently mentioned a near-future hard split that could increase rollup scalability before full sharding is finished in a tweet.

According to a paper published by JP Morgan strategists in early January, the last phase of sharding, which is important for network scaling, may not happen until 2023. Full scaling appears to require at least a year, implying that it will take some time.

Transaction fees on Ethereum L1 have been quite high for months, according to a recent Ethereum note provided by Ethereum developer Tim Beiko, and there is a greater need to do whatever it takes to promote an ecosystem-wide migration to rollups.

In the near and medium term, and possibly in the long term, rollups are regarded to be Ethereum's only trustless scaling solution.

Although rollups dramatically reduce fees for many Ethereum users, these pricing may appear unreasonably expensive to the ordinary ETH user.

Surprisingly, Optimism and Arbitrum rollups commonly offer rates that are nearly 3-8 times lower than the Ethereum base layer, while ZK rollups, which have greater data compression and can skip incorporating signatures, offer fees that are about 40-100 times lower than the base layer.

Buterin believes that plans are already in the works for a near-future hard fork to provide "blob-carrying transactions," which would boost rollup scalability.

This EIP would provide a stop-gap solution until the transaction format is used in sharding, by implementing the transaction format that would be used in sharding but without actually sharding those transactions.

This gives rollups temporary scaling relief by allowing them to scale up to 2 MB per slot, while a separate fee market keeps prices low while usage is limited.

The long-term solution and sharding

The long-term solution to rollups' inadequacy has always been data sharding, which would provide about 16 MB per block of dedicated data space to the chain that rollups could use.

The implementation and distribution of data sharding, on the other hand, will take a lengthy time.

Sharding has been a notion for Ethereum since its creation in 2013, and it will be deployed as part of the current proof-of-stake version.