Ethereum co-founder and a credible voice on all things crypto, Vitalik Buterin, has stated that gas fees on the Ethereum network will only be “truly acceptable” if they are lowered to under $0.05 (roughly Rs. 3.5). Buterin made the most recent comment in response to a tweet from the Bankless podcast host Ryan Sean Adams, who shared a screenshot revealing the average transaction fees for eight Ethereum Layer-2 platforms in a bid to highlight how relatively low the fees are to claim that Ethereum was inexpensive.

The screenshot posted by Adams showcased fees tracked by — a website that compares the cost of a Layer 1 network of Ether with a Layer 2 network built on top of it. The fees in the screenshot range from $0.02 (roughly Rs. 1.5) for Layer 2 rollup Metis Network, to $0.85 (roughly Rs. 65) for the Arbitrum One. In the middle of the pack, Loopring comes in at $0.12 (roughly Rs. 9), ZKSync at $0.19 (roughly Rs. 14.5), Polygon at $0.25 (roughly Rs. 19), Boba Network at $0.48 (roughly Rs. 36), and Optimism at $0.57 (roughly Rs. 43).

Adams emphasised the importance of Layer-2 in keeping Ethereum accessible, noting that “it’s Ethereum and it’s not expensive”, but Buterin suggested that it didn’t exist yet. “Must be less than $0.05 (roughly Rs. 3.5) to be really acceptable imo. But we are definitely making great strides, and even proto-danksharding might be enough to make it happen for a while!”

Proto-danksharding or EIP-4844, which Buterin mentioned in his response to Adams as a measure of bringing down fees, is a recently proposed Ethereum upgrade that will implement the key elements of danksharding – a new and simplified design of previous sharding projects, to the network without triggering any sharding updates.

Proto-danksharding will enable a new type of transaction dubbed “blob-carrying transaction,” which contains an additional 125 KB of data (blobs) that cannot be accessed by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The general idea is that this will help scale the network significantly in the short term, while reducing congestion and competition for gas usage, in turn lowering gas fees.