Ethereum Gas Limits – Hold vs Raise vs Lower

The Ethereum ecosystem is going through a lot of problems right now, which is to be expected. A lot of transactions can effectively cripple the network with relative ease. To counter this problem, the mining pools and miners can now vote on whether or not the gas limit needs to change. So far, the opinions are quite divided on this matter, however keeping things as they are right now will not do the ecosystem any favors.

3. The “Hold” Camp

When glancing over the current miner gas limit voting numbers, it is evident very few people are in favor of keeping things as they are right now. In fact, only one mining pool wants to keep things the way they are right now. That particular pool goes by the name of Ethermine, as it appears they are more than happy with the way things are going right now. Ethermine controls around 24.9% of the Ethereum mining hashrate, which means they have a fair amount of influence.

The bigger question is why this pool would prefer to keep things this way. Keeping the gas limit as it is will force people to spend more gas for quicker transaction confirmations. That will benefit the miners, as they get paid more money to include transactions in a block. Since one of every four network blocks would be mined by Ethermine, that could result in future network congestion on a very regular basis.

2. Camp “Lower”

It is evident the rest of the mining pools are somewhat divided on how the gas limit should evolve. Three different mining pools, as well as a lot of individual miners, are in favor of lowering the gas limit. The pools supporting this stance include Coinotron, Ethpool, and F2Pool. These three pools combine for a total of 30.2% of the total Ethereum mining hashrate. That is not enough to gain majority consensus, but it puts things into a different perspective.

Lowering the gas limit would have some interesting consequences, to say the least. Any transaction disregarding this lower limit would effectively be rejected by the network clients moving forward. It would certainly prevent network congestion from taking place because some people pay thousands of dollars for a quick confirmation. However, it may still lead to congestion just because everyone is sending at the maximum gas limit at the same time. An interesting situation to keep an eye on, that much evident.

1. Camp “Raise”

The vast majority of Ethereum mining pools would like nothing more but to raise the Ethereum gas limit moving forward. Dwarfpool, Nanopool, Ethfans, and MiningPoolHub all want to see the Ethereum gas limit getting raised rather than anything else. These mining pools combine for a total of 38.4% of the total Ethereum hashrate. If things remain this way, it is evident nothing will change in the future.

Raising the gas limit will be quite controversial. It would make Ethereum transactions more expensive for everyone, assuming they want to see their transfers confirmed quickly. Raising the gas limit could also create a scenario during which attackers make full nodes execute infinity loops. In theory, this can only occur when there is no official gas limit. However, by raising the limit right now, such an attack vector gets one step closer to becoming a reality.

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