Vitalik Buterin: changes to Ethereum’s GAS in view of the Istanbul fork
Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin: changes to Ethereum’s GAS in view of the Istanbul fork

By Emanuele Pagliari - 3 Sep 2019

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According to Vitalik Buterin, a short-term solution to the problem of congestion of the Ethereum blockchain could be to raise the GAS limit of transactions, which will undergo further improvements with the Istanbul fork, scheduled for October.

In fact, in recent days, Ethereum has been appearing more congested than usual, as in recent weeks the blockchain has been seeing its resources exploited by up to 90%.

However, in order to implement this decision, it is necessary to start a promotion campaign on Twitter and Reddit, in order to gather the consensus and therefore the approval of the community.

Vitalik Buterin said:

“I’d recommend starting a Reddit/Twitter campaign to promote the cause of pushing the gas limits up. Historically the large mining pools have listened to community pressure,” Istanbul fork could allow more transactions with the same gas limit”.

Ethereum Fork Istanbul: Vitalik proposes a higher GAS limit

One of the entities that is intensively using the Ethereum network is certainly Tether who, thanks to the thousands of transactions of the USDT token executed daily, is saturating the Ethereum blockchain, placing the network in crisis.

Should the use of the network continue to rise, there is the risk that the price of the fees required to carry out the transactions could increase, repeating what happened in January 2018, when the CryptoKitties mania clogged the Ethereum network.

An increase in transaction costs could trigger a loss of interest from developers and companies that intend to utilise the Ethereum blockchain for their applications, which is why it is necessary to find a solution as soon as possible to improve the scalability of the ETH network.

The most suitable solution is definitely sharding, which allows fragmenting the blockchain into various segments, so as to allow the various nodes of the network to manage and process only a few operations, significantly increasing the throughput. However, there are several compromises to be made in terms of security, as well as numerous implementation issues.

A first solution, simple and effective to implement, is to increase the GAS limit of Ethereum in view of the Istanbul fork, as proposed by Vitalik Buterin. This will allow to temporarily limit network congestion.

But to implement this change, it is necessary to have the approval of the main mining pools, which must support this initiative. To date, F2Pool and Sparkpool account for about 40% of the Ethereum miners and they do support raising the GAS limit.

Therefore, in order to proceed with the change, the support of another large mining pool would be necessary, so as to exceed 51%. The approval of the Ethermine and Nanopool pools is missing, but they are more inclined to wait for the Istanbul fork to raise the GAS limit, given that the upgrade will introduce several improvements, which will increase the number of transactions that can be managed by the network.

Emanuele Pagliari
Emanuele Pagliari

Telecommunications engineer with a strong passion for technology. His adventure in the world of blogging started on GizChina.it in 2014 and then continued on LFFL.org and GizBlog.it. Emanuele is in the world of cryptocurrency as a miner since 2013 and today he follows the technical aspects related to blockchain, cryptography and dApp, also for applications in the Internet of Things.

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