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The Ethereum miners are voting to increase the tank cap, leading to a debate in the community

June 19, 2020

The Ethereum (ETH) miners are currently voting to increase the block gas limit from 10,000,000 to 12,500,000, according to a current Tweet by Bitfly, the parent company of the Ethermine group.

What is the gas and the gas limit?

Gas is a unit that measures the computational effort required to send a transaction or perform other actions on the Ethereum blockchain. It is called in Gwei or extremely small parts of ETH.

The block gas limit is again the gas threshold that can be issued for transactions within a block.

How could this coordination affect the network?

The Ethereum miners are voting to increase the tank cap, leading to a debate in the communityThe Ethereum miners are voting to increase the tank cap, leading to a debate in the community

If voting is preferred, it would theoretically increase the overall capacity of the network and lower rates. In particular, according to Bitfly’s calculations, the Ethereum blockchain would start processing around 44 transactions per second, while 35 transactions per second are currently processed on average. The company described this speed increase as “a major milestone for the community”.

However, increasing the gas limit also has some potential drawbacks. As the threshold increases, miners take longer to process each block, leading to the so-called “uncle block” problem. It occurs when two different miners create a block at the same time and only one of these blocks joins the blockchain, which essentially leads to additional work for miners.

As Anton Bukov, CTO of 1 inch, Cointelegraph previously explained, there is also the possibility of overloading the nodes that run the network:

“Operations that cost little gasoline but require a lot of resources can be used to attack nodes. […] If the transaction processing takes 10-15 seconds, the nodes completely stagnate. “

Increasing the filler cap can also cause weaker nodes to leave the network, which may make it less decentralized. “This is why the limit is raised so conservatively, and even then it is usually done after some optimization results have been achieved in client deployments.”Bukov said at the time.

The community is divided when it comes to voting

The recent initiative has met with strong opposition from some members of the community. Core Ethereum developer Péter Szilágyi summarized Bitfly’s tweet as follows:

“TL; DR: Ethereum miners do not care about the long-term health of the network or DoS attacks.”

The co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, also participated in the discussion. According to him, hAbout six weeks ago, a representative of the ETH Sparkpool mining group asked him if he supported the increase in the fuel cap. He said no and quoted Szilágyi’s views on the subject. Buterin’s position has apparently changed since then, as has he wrote::

“That said, the past 6 weeks of high transaction fees have put real pressure on people, so I don’t blame them for making this decision.”

The independent blockchain scalability researcher, Georgios Konstantopoulos, wrote that he was against further block size increases and “you should be,” and added:

“You are NOT scaling the system by enlarging the block.”

1inchs Bukov, on the other hand, seems to support the miners’ initiative. He said to Cointelegraph:

“They need to be more concerned with the convenience of the network to the community than with the long-term acceleration of state growth. Otherwise, Ethereum’s competitiveness will be impaired and more and more projects are considering migrating to fork chains or other networks. “