Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum Foundation Explore Strategies to Optimize Blockchain for Rollup-Centric Roadmap
Their goal is to optimize the blockchain for the “rollup-centric roadmap,” which emphasizes the use of rollups for scaling and improving Ethereum’s scalability and efficiency.
In a blog post on February 5, Buterin and Ethereum Foundation researcher Toni Wahrstätter highlighted the need to optimize the utilization of block space.
They noted that over the past 12 months, the effective block size has essentially doubled, possibly due to the increasing use of Ethereum for data availability by rollups and trends like Inscriptions.
Vitalik Buterin Proposes 5 Solutions to Optimize Block Size
The blog post discussed five different solutions, each varying in complexity.
The primary objective is to increase block gas limits and discourage the use of calldata, thereby reducing the maximum block size and creating room for more data blobs in the future.
One of the proposed solutions involves increasing the cost of calldata from 16 to 42 gas.
This adjustment would reduce the maximum block size from 1.78 megabytes to 0.68 megabytes, allowing for an increase in the block gas limit.
However, Buterin expressed concerns about this approach as it could disincentivize the use of calldata for data availability, negatively impacting applications like StarkNet that rely on large calldata for on-chain proofs.
On Increasing the Block Gas Limit
Special thanks to the Starkware team for feedback and data!
The article discusses a proposal to manage Ethereum's block size more efficiently by adjusting the gas limit and the cost of…
— ethresearchbot (@ethresearchbot) February 5, 2024
Another solution suggested was to increase the cost of calldata while simultaneously decreasing the cost of other opcodes.
This approach aims to strike a balance between incentivizing calldata usage and optimizing gas costs.
Devs Can Cap Amount of Calldata Per Block
The third idea proposed was to cap the amount of calldata per block, as outlined in Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4488.
However, this approach also raises concerns about disincentivizing calldata usage for data availability, which may affect applications heavily reliant on it.
Another potential solution was creating a separate calldata fee market, similar to how data blobs are handled, which would allow the price for calldata usage to automatically adjust based on demand.
However, the downside to this proposal is the increased complexity in analysis and implementation.
The final idea put forward was to offer an “EVM loyalty bonus” to compensate applications that heavily rely on calldata, which would incentivize the use of calldata within the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Buterin and Wahrstätter acknowledged that simply raising the calldata cost to 42 gas might be too simplistic, and implementing separate fee markets could introduce excessive complexity.
They emphasized the need for a balanced solution that increases the cost of calldata while reducing the cost of certain operations or explores models that incentivize calldata usage within the EVM.
“A balanced solution could be to increase the cost of calldata while reducing the cost of some operations, or perhaps moving towards a model that offers incentives for using calldata inside the EVM.”
It should be noted that Buterin previously proposed calldata limits per block to lower gas costs in 2021.
Back in January, he suggested raising the Ethereum gas limit by 33% to 40 million to enhance network throughput.