The cost of transactions on the Ethereum Network far exceeded the average of the previous days. The EIP reducing gas consumption will arrive in July, along with the London update.

After the Berlin hard fork of the Ethereum network, gas consumption from transactions increased sharply. On the day of the update, the costs remained below 100 gwei. However, the next day, the price of gas reached a cap of 276 gwei.

This situation has led to many complaints from various users. For example, a transaction with a gas price of 276 gwei could cost about 0.0058 ETH (around USD 14), according to Ethereum Price.

At the time of writing this article, the average fees are at 138 gwei (around USD 7.10), according to Gas Tracker. Previously, the Metamask wallet suggested a fee of USD 14.95 for transfers in average time. That is well above the previous benchmark of USD 3, according to user reports.

The increases are not necessarily a consequence of the Berlin update. They could be due to a saturation of the network by massive purchases of Ether and transfers to private wallets. The recent rise in the price of the cryptocurrency seems to support this theory.

The Berlin hard fork seeks to achieve better management of the gas used to conduct transactions on Ethereum. However, this would only be possible in the medium term.

The current update on the network will lead to a “higher” one, called “London”, which should occur in mid-2021. That fork will include the Ethereum EIP-1559 upgrade proposal. This protocol directly addresses the issue of gas consumption from transactions.

Berlin was originally scheduled to occur in June 2020, but it had to be postponed for several months. Drawbacks relating to the centralization of the Geth client, in which most of the Ethereum nodes operate, led to this situation.

At the time of launching the hard fork, several users even reported failures. During the first hours, the synchronization in the Open Ethereum client experienced setbacks.

After the Berlin Update, Addressing High fees Is Still a Pending Task

The Berlin hard fork occurred at the height of block 12,244,000 of the Ethereum mainnet. This update seeks to improve the network’s performance and contracts, as well as increase security and reduce operating costs.

For that reason, Berlin incorporated four Ethereum improvement proposals (EIP). EIP-2565 aims to improve the ModExp (modular exponentiation) pre-compiled contract algorithm, which would lower costs.

EIP-2929 increases gas consumption in the first transaction to activate storage access codes. Such codes include Sload, Call, Balance, Ext, and Selfdestruct. According to experts, this activation is necessary to prevent DDoS attacks.

The two remaining protocols that Berlin will incorporate are EIP-2718 and EIP-2930. The former will serve to standardize and encompass different types of transactions on the network. The latter will allow programming a future transaction through “templates” created from EIP-2718. The objective of this transaction is to use a rate lower than that of EIP-2929.

By Alexander Salazar


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