Ethereum’s transaction fees have fallen down to less than 10 cent at the time of writing, from a recent high of more than 50 cent.
While network congestion has more than halved from a recent all time high of 30,000 transactions waiting to move to now just 14,000 and falling.
This fall in both transaction numbers and fees is due to miners raising ethereum’s gas limit (blocksize) by 1 million computations from 6.7 million to 7.7 million with it seemingly still rising.
Unlike in bitcoin, ethereum’s blocksize is a soft limit, with a simple majority of miners deciding whether it should increase or decrease.
One such miner, Ethermine, was against it, but the rest have nonetheless increased it, providing some temporary relief and solving what could have been a a very unappealing situation.
Ethereum may now continue operating smoothly while handling more than 700,000 transactions a day. Quite an astonishing number considering its fees are down back to pennies.
Those transaction numbers may continue rising as eth’s popularity continues to grow, with the exact level the network can handle, prior to Proof of Stake and sharding, remaining unclear.
For bitcoin, studies have suggested that 4MB is safe and considering the continued advance of technology, 8MB may be pretty safe.
It’s unclear whether the same applies to ethereum, which has a current blocksize of around 0.8MB of data for every 10 minutes.
The network appears to be more efficient than bitcoin as at around the same level of blocksize eth manages more than 700,000 transactions while bitcoin is at around 300,000.
If eth’s blocksize can gradually be increased 4x in line with demand, then we would be looking at almost 3 million transactions a day. That should hopefully be enough for the kitties, and more importantly, it might hopefully be sufficient until the more long term solutions, such as sharding, are implemented.
Ethereum’s network, therefore, may continue operating finely as thankfully the simple majority of eth miners seems to have led to a decision in favor of smooth operations.
Thus resolving this situation without endless debate as we wait for further scalability through protocol improvements.