Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has recently proposed that cryptocurrency wallets charge a small gas fee for transactions, in order to help funds its developers. In his suggestion, a small amount in fees could collectively lead to up to $2 million a year.
Via microblogging platform Twitter, Buterin made his suggestion, proposing a “one-off” 1gewi payment for transactions from ETH wallets.
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
Transaction fees on the Ethereum network are denominated in gas, which itself is measured in gewi. The fees see users compensate miners for the computational energy used to secure the network and validate transactions. About 73,000 gwei equal $0.01.
Buterin noted he would like to see the fee as a norm and not a mandate in the Ethereum ecosystem. When asked how he could stop users from freeriding by bypassing these costs, he noted that while it would be possible to do so, hopefully the fee could be set low enough to avoid incentivizing the development of “pirated” ETH clients.
Remember that an ethereum wallet/client is inherently a high trust thing; a bad one could steal all your money. This works against forking wallets to remove the fee, I would predict to a large extent.— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) March 8, 2019
The crypto community’s response to Buterin was initially mixed, but soon critics started piling up. One user pointed out a wallet called MultiBit attempted to add a similar system, but “users were not willing to pay for something that was previously free.”
One user noted that adding fees for specific purposes like this could snowball, and eventually give governments throughout the world a chance to collect taxes on cryptocurrency transactions through fees.
Today is x% for this, tomorrow for that and sooner or later a whole mechanism is ready to allow gov to collect VAT or cover their irresponsible spending.— Esteban Dozsa (@EstebanD) March 8, 2019
Buterin has in the past proposed fees to pay for storage on the network, and for account creation, similar to those on the EOS blockchain. Recently, he compared Bitcoin to a pocket calculator and Ethereum to a smartphone, as the flagship cryptocurrency does one thing well, while ETH is capable of doing nearly everything.
The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has, as covered, implemented its Constantinople and St. Petersburg network upgrades, which among other things increased the network’s efficiency. Its block generation rate has also increased as its ‘difficulty bomb’ was diffused as expected.
Notably, Switzerland’s main stock exchange, SIX, has recently launched an Ethereum-based exchange-traded product, the Amun Ethereum ETP (AETH).