Anyone of us who has approached DeFi, will have undoubtedly noticed the extremely high "commission" fees of Ethereum.
I realized it too, moving inside the Harvest Farm platform: to sign a smart-contract from 15 to 30$ are requested!
These are crazy figures that conflict with the philosophy of decentralized finance: finance within everyone's reach extremely simplified through GUIs and affordable costs.
In fact, the costs are reaching impossible figures; fortunately there are the "parallel" blockchains where, being the validation PoS, the fees are very low and in some cases zero (on the BSC, smart-contracts are signed for free and the various fund allocation operations do not exceed 0.15$).
Certainly it is that through the Ethereum network, the security you have against the various scams are extremely higher, but this is not the reason why the GAS is so high.
The issues with such high fees can be attributed to the nature of the Ethereum blockchain.
In addition to network congestion, there is also the limited block capacity and scalability of this blockchain.
The operating range of the Ethereum network is between 15 and 45 transactions per second: extremely low if we relate it to the increase in the number of entities that have access to DeFi.
There are more and more platforms that create dedicated dApps and that, relying on the network, increase its congestion.
This situation is about to implode and is gradually driving transaction fees to over $75. Just think that a short time ago I created NFTs at a cost of about 4$, a few days later the fee was over 120$!
So, is it possible to do something about it?
You can check the NFTs I created here, from an artist I am partnering with!
Leaving aside, for a moment, blockchains that validate with PoS, the only way to be able to make the Ethereum blockchain scalable is to leverage Layer 2.
What is called the Lightning Network.
Using the Layer 2 the Polygon network has recorded 7.5 million transactions, while Ethereum (with the "traditional" method) has stopped at 1.5 million!
The Ethereum 2.0 project is delaying to arrive so it is necessary to find valid temporary alternatives to limit this drastic increase in transaction costs.
As mentioned above, the exploitation of Layer 2 gives excellent results, but it is necessary to have a security management rather timely, as working on Layer 2 means being off-chain.
In this regard, the Zk rollup protocol can be used.
Simply put, transactions are recorded in a Merkle tree (where each transaction is verified within the system itself) and deliver the findings to the blockchain.
In this protocol, the Zk rollup, 2 actors intervene:
- The user: creates the transfer transaction and signs it with the private key; then sends it to the Relayer.
- The Relayer: Provides the collection and verification of transactions by creating the Merkle tree, and delivers everything to the blockchain (in practice is an oracle).
But who certifies the reliability and correctness of the Relayer?
If the Relayer in addition to the Merkle tree also sends the transactions, we would be back to square one, then?
That's where the Zero Knowledge protocol comes in!
Through this protocol it is possible to be aware of something without making the content public.
So the Relayer in addition to the creation of the Merkle tree, must also deliver a proof of veracity generated with the default ZK protocol:
- Ensure that the nonce, value and transaction fees are correct and that the signature is correct;
- Ensure that the migration process of the previous state to the next state is correct.
This is all delivered to the blockchain without transferring the signature and nonce.
With this data, the smart-contract has to check that the ZK proof is right, in which case it proceeds to register on blockchain.
As you can easily guess, the costs are extremely lower, because the data delivered by the Relayer corresponds to one transaction, while within the data package there can be up to a thousand.
It is not by chance that at the beginning I talked about the possibilities offered by the Binance Smart Chain, but we are in a centralized environment, so we are exposed to possible rug-pulls (I suggest you to read this article to clarify what it is and how to avoid it).
Another possibility could be the algorithm used by Diminutive Coin: the HMQ1725.
This algorithm is Highly Modified Quark 1725.
Very secure, it consists of performing 25 Hash cycles of 17 algorithms combined; the blockchain remains PoW, but these calculations can be performed by a simple home computer without necessarily using an ASIC.
Obviously the validation overhead plummets dramatically.
As we've seen the possibilities are there and until they are applied, at least until we get to the Ethereum 2.0 fork, Ethereum will be criticized for its truly skyrocketing costs; as well as losing competitiveness in the crypto world.