The co-founder (and often figurehead) for Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin has recently proposed an unusual and controversial method for increasing ETH developer fund support to impose gas fees on wallet transactions.
Buterin tweeted out his idea on 8th March and made a distinction that his proposal would involve the creation of a ‘community norm’, which users could choose to follow as opposed to being mandatory. However, the idea of the gas fee standard is to encourage the fee being paid on wallet transactions, while discouraging the current practice of users attempting to circumnavigate fees.
You can see Buterin’s tweet below:
I propose we consider supporting a community norm that client/wallet devs can/should charge a 1 gwei/gas fee for txs sent through their wallet, we don't try to circumvent such fees, and we support protocol changes to make such fees easier (eg. abstraction enabling multisends)— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) March 8, 2019
If we go off the numbers that Buterin has presented, increasing the average user gas costs by seven percent would equal to at least $2 million per year in increased funding for Ethereum developers, without going through the traditional routes of securing more capital that could involve a market bias.
Even though Buterin was just presenting this potential move the community, as opposed to announcing an actual development by the Ethereum team, the proposal was met with conflicting opinions.
TokenPay is one of the official partners of the Litecoin Foundation and Verge currency. They claim to be the world’s most secure coin and payment platform when it comes to your crypto transactions and they had something to say when it came to Buterin’s proposal:
So much for free enterprise? Shouldn’t wallet devs be allowed to charge what they want, even if this is zero?— TokenPay 🛒 (@tokenpay) March 8, 2019
Whereas there were other users that were quick to fight back at Buterin’s plan which involves creating a “community norm” around wallet transaction gas fees rather than making it a definitive part of transactions. Buterin wanted to make his point clear so he sent out another tweet to clarify that he was not advocating a mandatory fee increase but instead would rather hope to kick start an ETH community initiative in order to support developers through an alternative method of fee collection.
To be clear, I am NOT advocating a norm *mandating* the 1 gwei fee. I am arguing for a norm diacouraging overly complaining about and/or trying to circumvent the fee if/where it exists.— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) March 8, 2019
You might be thinking, ‘where does TRON come into this?’ Well they don’t, not directly anyway.
As we’ve seen in the past, the CEO of TRON, Justin Sun had made suggestions on the past that Ether and TRON developers migrate to the TRON network in a bid to revive their losses. So it could be seen that Buterin’s latest idea is done in a bid to get the upper hand on their so-called ‘rival’.
That being said, this is unlikely as Buterin has revealed that the idea came from a conversation he had with economists at a conference last year.
Buterin has said, “I came up with the proposal after talking with economists at the Economics and Computation conference at Cornell last year… I’m hoping the proposal can be included soon.”
Even so, this could be a sly dig at TRON nonetheless.
Despite the controversy that Buterin’s plan seems to have stirred up, the co-founder’s idea does provide us with a community community-generated source of funding for Ethereum developers that promotes decentralisation over other forms of fee-collection.
As we say though, there have been some good arguments AGAINST Buterins proposal by several Twitter users. Some have pointed out that it is a tough sell in order to get the people to pay for something they were previously receiving for free even if it comes with good intentions. So even though wallet operators are free to impose fees to compete on the market, a blanket gas fee would be hard to gather a decent amount of adoption. Even one that is imposed through community goodwill or Buterin’s “norm”.
But yes, there was a lack of a good response to Buterin’s idea but Ethereum has benefited from positive news in the past week in surrounding its development. Over the weekend, the research firm Electric Capital published data showing Ethereum led the industry in active developer support, with over twice that of second place Bitcoin. On top of this, Ethereum has benefitted from the successful launch of the long-awaited Constantinople upgrade at the end of last month.