Ethereum miners have increased the gas limit by about 4% from 12 million units to 12.5 million.
That’s while transactions now near 1.2 million a day, that being pretty much all time high on full network utilization.
Fees have risen recently to average $1.5 with simple transactions costing just one dollar, but defi interactions can be $4 or more.
There are contract level scaling solutions utilized by Loopring, StarkWare and others, but many dapps need time to implement them.
In the meantime therefore miners are voting to increase the limit further beyond the 12.5 million.
Following a recent announcement that an eth1 prototype client has began ‘talking’ to an eth2 prototype client, it appears ethereum might go full Proof of Stake (PoS) earlier than thought, maybe next summer.
As such an increased data demand might be less relevant than say in bitcoin because the current eth1 network will become just a shard in eth 2.0.
In addition the current ethereum network is running at probably 1.2 megabytes every ten minutes, while bitcoin is closer to 2MB.
Therefore there should be room to get up to at least 16 million gas with uncle rates currently not much changed despite the increase in capacity, and still far lower than the 2,000 it reached in January 2018, standing now at about 700.
Fees of $1 in addition are not really that high considering this is a temporary situation that is being tackled and fully through the ethereum 2.0 upgrade.
Plus dapps do need to be incentivized to be more economical with resource demands on some 10,000 nodes running across the globe, with a fine balance thus required here.
A balance that is being struck by miners for the first time really since bitcoin reached the hard limit of 1MB.
Prior to that, bitcoin had the current eth mechanism in regards to what was called the soft limit which initially was about 250 kilobytes.
Miners voted to increase that to 500kb, then 750kb, and finally to 1MB after which a network level upgrade was required to increase the limit any further.
As all know there was a civil war on whether to increase it with the 1MB side winning, so now about four years on we get to see what the other side would have been like.
This increase in capacity has allowed ethereum to process $1.4 billion in transfers a day in return for miners receiving about 6,000 eth in fees, worth close to $2 million, so making it a 0.1% processing fee overall.
Obviously fees are not by percentage but by gas utilization so you can move $100 million and still pay as much as someone moving $10, but this movement of $1.4 billion is one of the highest network utilization in some time with it usually being around $300-$400 million.
Meaning ethereum is becoming a lot more useful to a lot more people as new dapps and more innovation comes on board.