Ethereum Gas Prices

There’s been some discussion recently on the affordability of Ethereum gas and the possibility of gas limits being reached on the blockchain. The issue is that blockchain adoption is so high, many fear that the Ethereum blockchain will get bogged down and unusable.

I believe Ethereum is too well planned out for this to become an issue.

Think of the Ethereum blockchain as I-15. (That’s my nearest freeway. Feel free to substitute your nearest freeway.) Too much traffic congests it. The easy fix is metering. Metering prevents an unmanageable amount of traffic clogging I-15. Ethereum does metering, too. It’s called a “gas limit.”

Gas is the fraction of Ether that is paid to run any transaction on the blockchain. Gas is just another name for a small bit of the ether cryptocurrency. Most transactions on the Ethereum blockchain cost some amount of gas. Paying gas prevents abuse of the computing power of the massive number of miner nodes creating the links in the blockchain.

Ethereum does its metering by placing a gas limit on each block (link) of the blockchain. Having a gas limit means that only a limited amount of computation power can be spent on creating a new link in the blockchain, before the mining nodes say, “Enough work!” and move on to creating the next link.

The issue discussed is that blockchain is seeing so much adoption that most of the gas allowed in every link is getting filled up without completing all the requested transactions. While this is absolutely wonderful from an adoption standpoint, it is not so wonderful if you want affordable “gas” prices for running transactions involving the Ethereum blockchain.

The reason that I am not worried about this is because the team creating the next update to Ethereum has anticipated this gas limit issue and found ways to pack more transactions into their blockchain. We will see major improvements to the code that runs blockchain over the next year. It will allow tons more transactions while also improving the speed of transaction fulfillment.

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