3 Reasons Ethereum's Network Capacity has Grown by 9%


August 16, 2021, | AtoZ Markets – Ethereum's network has increased by 9% since the London hard fork on August 5. Average gas consumption per day during this time rose from 92 billion to more than 100 billion. The previous jump in gas consumption occurred in the second half of April when miners agreed to raise the block limit to 15 million in order to reduce network congestion with transactions.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin in a post on Reddit named three main reasons for what is happening.

Delayed "ice age"

The London upgrade allowed to postpone the "ice age", which began to come before the activation of the update. The average block time went up to 13.5 seconds but is now back to its usual long-term value of 13.1 seconds. This 3% difference was one component of the overall 9% change.

Replacing the maximum block size with a target size

Before London, the gas limit in each block was 15 million, but it was not always fully utilized. So, even the most efficient miners left from 0 to 20,999 units, since this is not enough to enable a whole transaction. In addition, from time to time, empty blocks appear in the blockchain, which also affects the overall statistics.

It is estimated that 2-3% of the block space was unused prior to the London update. Now the value of 15 million is not the maximum, but the target. This means that as long as the average gas consumption remains below 15 million, including empty blocks, the base commission will decrease until the target value of 15 million is reached. This factor accounts for another 2-3%.

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Mathematical defects in base commission changes

The formulas for changing the base commission are imperfect, Buterin admits. An empty block reduces the base commission by 12.5% ​​by multiplying it by 7/8. A full block increases the base commission by 12.5% ​​by multiplying it by 9/8. If an empty block is followed by a full one, the base commission is multiplied by 63/64, that is, there is no return to the previous state. To maintain the base commission, network utilization should be slightly above 50%. In practice, it turned out that blocks are filled on average by 51.5%, that is, by 3% more than the “planned” average.

Despite the increased bandwidth, fees on the Ethereum network have continued to rise over the past few days.

According to BitInfoCharts, the average over the past 24 hours has reached its highest level since May at $24.86. The increase in commissions, however, occurs sporadically, usually during the distribution of tokens for new NFT projects. For example, at the time of this publication, the cost of fast processing an Ethereum transaction is less than $3. The dollar value of the commissions was also affected by the growth of the ether price, which today again approached the local maximum of $3,300.

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