Rollups saved Ethereum users a boatload of gas fees: Report

Ethereum users have layer-2 rollups to thank for saving them from high fees and long wait times

article-image

Maurice NORBERT/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

share

Ethereum transaction fees would be five times more expensive if not for layer-2 rollup networks like Optimism and Arbitrum.

That’s according to a recent report from blockchain infrastructure unit Chainstack. Aside from fees between 360% and 419% higher, transactions themselves would take nearly twice as long on average, Chainstack found. 

Wait times would even stretch to 114 seconds compared to a block time of about 12 seconds (the minimum wait time if transactions are sent between blocks).

Rollups are designed to solve the blockchain trilemma — a tradeoff layer-1 networks must make between security, scalability and decentralization. Blockchains can only offer two of those elements at any one time, says Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who popularized the concept laid out in 2016.

Ethereum, for example, is built with security and decentralization in mind. But it’s not totally scalable — transaction fees generally rise alongside user activity and can grow exponentially at times of peak demand.

With rollups, Ethereum is able to offload some of the pressure. There are two popular rollup solutions today: Optimistic rollups and zero-knowledge (zk) rollups. 

Optimistic rollups, such as Arbitrum and Optimism, process transactions off-chain and then post the data of the transaction back onto Ethereum as “calldata.” ZK rollups, such as Polygon zkEVM and zkSync Era, post all data on-chain but use cryptography to validate whether transactions are accurate without revealing the information itself. 

Usage of rollups has grown considerably over the past two years, with Arbitrium and Optimism often together handling more daily transactions than Ethereum mainnet.

“… it’s clear how roll-up transactions have gone from representing a minor fraction of the network’s activity in 2021 to playing a vital part in Ethereum’s functioning by 2023,” Chainstack wrote.

The report added that the growing number of transactions illustrated the crucial functioning of rollups to Ethereum’s overall network efficiency. 

Although, Ethereum gas fees (currently about $1 on average) have seen a constant uptrend between 2021 and 2023 despite the popularity of rollups. But Chainstack reasoned that L2 networks have still served as a necessary and useful counterbalance. 


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

AERODROME TEMPLATE.png

Research

Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495M in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.

article-image

And a look into the newest name on the Trump ticket: Sen. JD Vance

article-image

Plus, Imran Khan’s intriguing experiment on the speeds of crypto onramps

article-image

The SEC has signaled a timeline to issuers that could lead to a July 23 launch for the ETH funds, people close to the process told Blockworks

article-image

PayPal has unequivocally made a name for itself as a crypto adopter among fintech giants

article-image

Also, a look into how the highly-debated SAB 121 could end up shaking out for crypto custodians

article-image

Vance, an Ohio Republican, is largely seen as crypto-friendly