Vitalik Buterin Proposes That Wallets Charge Gas Fee for Transactions

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin  proposed that wallets charge a gas fee for transactions in order to support developers in a tweet on March 8.

Gas is a unit for measuring the computational work of operating transactions or smart contracts in the Ethereum network, wherein different kinds of transactions require a different volume of gas to execute. Gas price is the price of ETH a user wants to pay for every unit of gas measured in gwei, while gas limit represents the maximum amount of gas a user will pay for a transaction. In the tweet, Buterin stated:

“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)”

Buterin gave a broader picture of the proposed change, saying that increasing average user gas costs by around seven percent would raise up to $2 million per year in funding for wallet developers. Buterin further explained his position:

“To be clear, I am NOT advocating a norm *mandating* the 1 gwei fee. I am arguing for a norm discouraging overly complaining about and/or trying to circumvent the fee if/where it exists.”

One commentator on the thread pointed said, “Multibit [Bitcoin (BTC) wallet] tried this. It was an utter failure. Users were not willing to pay for something that was previously free. No one would upgrade. Eventually, the fee was removed. Without a good way to pay for support and engineering, development on the wallet stopped.”

In March 2018, Buterin stated that he had been trying to solve Bitcoin’s limited functionality with the creation of Ethereum. Buterin compared Bitcoin to a plot key calculator, stating that it does one thing and it does it well, while he believes Ethereum is more like a smartphone, which can run apps capable of doing almost everything, including acting as a plot key calculator.

Last month, Ethereum core devs implemented the Constantinople and St. Petersburg network upgrades, which went live on the main network at block 7,280,000, in accordance with the previously released schedule. Constantinople is set to bring multiple efficiency improvements to the platform, including cheaper transaction fees for some operations on the Ethereum network.