Ethereum researchers have proposed improved transaction fee models in a recent thread on Ethresear.ch.
Right now, Ethereum uses a system called "gas" to pay for transaction fees and prioritize those transactions.
There are three related proposals that would build on the current system:
- Oil and karma, which adds a "second fuel source to the EVM called oil that is unobservable and works in parallel with gas"
- A counter-proposal from Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin
- Meta-transactions, which give users a way to make Ethereum transactions without paying a fee
Buterin has also endorsed meta-transactions, saying that "in-protocol meta-transactions are definitely looking like a better and better idea."
Though the changes are highly technical, they would improve the efficiency and accessibility of the Ethereum network---at least in some circumstances.
It is not clear if the proposals are directly related to the congestion that Ethereum has experienced since the end of April; several other potential solutions to that problem are underway.