Ethereum is an expensive smart contract blockchain – but it’s worth the cost, according to Konstantin Anissimov.
Ethereum’s volatile and sometimes extraordinarily high gas fees has been a major topic of conversation. Critics often cite the network’s fees as a fatal flaw that makes it unusable, opening the door for an “ETH killer” to dethrone it as the primary smart contract execution platform. At the highest level, the requirement to pay high fees in order to execute transactions undermines the blockchain’s central pillar of inclusivity.
Not all users have the ability to pay high transaction fees. But Ethereum cannot be written off because of its high cost to use. To understand this perspective, you need to grasp the network’s fee mechanism and the innovations currently being developed and deployed.
Gas is the fuel needed to execute transactions on the Ethereum network. On the Ethereum blockchain, gas refers to the cost necessary to perform a transaction. Different types of transactions cost varying amounts of gas depending on their complexity. For example, a simple transfer of ETH requires less gas than transferring ERC tokens or swapping assets on an ETH-native decentralized exchange (DEX).