In a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) event organized by the Ethereum Foundation’s research team, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, suggested a “modest” increase in the gas limit to enhance the network’s throughput.
During the AMA, Buterin highlighted that the gas limit has remained unchanged for almost three years, representing the lengthiest period in the protocol’s history. He expressed his view that a modest increase in the gas limit is reasonable, emphasizing the need for this adjustment.
Vitalik Buterin’s Proposal: A 33% Increase to 40 Million
Vitalik Buterin proposed a gas limit increase to approximately 40 million, which, according to Etherscan, currently stands at 30 million. This suggests a 33% increase, aiming to accommodate more transactions in each block and boost the network’s overall throughput.
The Ethereum gas limit signifies the maximum amount of gas spent on executing transactions or smart contracts in each block. Gas serves as the transaction fee on the Ethereum blockchain. By increasing the gas limit, more transactions can be included in each block, theoretically enhancing the network’s capacity.
While increasing the gas limit can improve throughput, it comes with potential risks. Larger blocks require additional energy for miners to process, potentially leading to chain splits and abandoned blocks. This risk factor is crucial to consider in the decision-making process.
Ethereum’s Gas Limit Evolution
Since Ethereum’s introduction in 2015, the average gas limit has seen substantial growth, correlating with increased network usage and adoption. Notably, in April 2021, miners raised the gas limit from 12.5 million to 15 million, following improvements from the Berlin hard fork.
Gas fees on the Ethereum network experienced a peak of 150 gwei in May 2023 due to the inscriptions craze. Presently, average gas prices hover around 35 gwei or $1.89, with an increase observed since the beginning of 2024, particularly for complex smart contract operations. Understanding these trends is vital for participants in the Ethereum ecosystem..