Ethereum Layer-2 Gas Fees Slashed by Tenfold Following Dencun Upgrade

The Ethereum network, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency ecosystem, has taken a significant step forward with the activation of the Dencun upgrade on March 13, 2024. This upgrade, coupled with the deployment of EIP-4844, has led to a substantial reduction in transaction fees across various Ethereum layer-2 networks.

The Dawn of a New Era for Ethereum

The Dencun upgrade represents the first phase in Ethereum’s roadmap focused on rollups, positioning the network as a suitable database for layer-2 (L2) blockchains. Prior to the upgrade, analysts predicted that the changes could reduce transaction fees on L2 networks to nearly zero. Indeed, post-upgrade, transaction costs on L2s have plummeted, even dropping to one-tenth of their previous amounts in some cases.

Source: Dune Analytics

Significant Fee Reductions Post-Dencun

Dune Analytics reports that the average transaction fee for Optimism is now $0.05; Base’s average fee is $0.064, and zkSync Era, which already favored reducing gas percentages for users, now has an average transaction fee of just $0.161. These figures represent a stark contrast to the pre-Dencun era, where fees often fluctuated between $0.5 and $1 during periods of high activity and network congestion.

The account @0xCygaar minted 999 ERC20 tokens on a test contract deployed on zkSync last year, witnessing a tenfold reduction in costs:

  • Pre-blobs cost: $0.81
  • Post-blobs cost: $0.08

Optimism, which had already seen reduced gas fees following the BedRock upgrade, experienced further reductions after integrating blobs. Base quickly followed suit, integrating blobs into its blockchain, potentially reducing transaction fees by more than 600 times.

Another layer-2 built on the Optimism platform, Zora, recorded gas fees that were significantly lower than before March 13. Starknet, after synchronizing with the Dencun upgrade, announced transaction fees ranging from $0.01 to $0.04—a substantial decrease from the previous $2 average, which could spike to $7 during peak times.

Some Networks Still in Transition

While many networks have embraced the Dencun upgrade, Arbitrum has yet to complete its update, leaving its transaction fees unchanged. However, an announcement indicated that the upgrade would occur on the evening of March 14. Layer-2 Blast encountered a blockchain halt post-Dencun activation, requiring nearly an hour to resolve.

The Future of Ethereum’s Transaction Fees

Although the current low fees on layer-2 networks are promising, it’s worth noting that Dencun has been live for less than 24 hours, and many projects have yet to utilize blobs. The situation may evolve as more platforms begin to implement Ethereum’s EIP-4844 in the coming times.

In conclusion, the Dencun upgrade marks a pivotal moment for Ethereum, promising enhanced scalability and affordability that could attract millions of new users to the ecosystem. As the network continues to evolve, the crypto community eagerly anticipates the broader implications of these developments for the future of decentralized finance.

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