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Exploring EIP-4844: Proto-Danksharding and Its Impact on Rollup Transaction Fees

Ethereum Improvement Proposal 4844, known as Proto-Danksharding, aims to optimize Ethereum's layer 2 (L2) scaling through rollups, potentially reducing transaction fees by up to 100x. Discover how this proposal transforms Ethereum's fee market and benefits rollup solutions.


Ethereum Improvement Proposal 4844, commonly referred to as Proto-Danksharding, introduces a revolutionary set of changes designed to enhance Ethereum's layer 2 (L2) scalability through rollups. These changes have the potential to dramatically reduce transaction fees, making rollup solutions like Arbitrum, Optimism, and Base even more cost-efficient.

Proto-Danksharding: A Vital Scaling Solution

EIP-4844, or Proto-Danksharding, is a recent proposal crafted to optimize Ethereum's L2 infrastructure, allowing rollups to leverage a novel fee market for embedded data. Its name is derived from the combination of "Proto" representing the initial phase and "Danksharding" signifying its role in Ethereum's scaling strategy.

While Ethereum's primary layer 1 scaling strategy involves sharding, Proto-Danksharding acts as a bridge, enabling Ethereum to scale through rollups while sharding development progresses. Notably, the changes introduced by EIP-4844 are compatible with the impending sharding solution, ensuring a seamless transition when sharding is fully implemented.

Key Transformations Proposed by EIP-4844

Proto-Danksharding introduces a groundbreaking transaction type known as the "blob-carrying transaction." These transactions include additional data that remains inaccessible to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This innovation allows for an increased amount of data to be added to each transaction, with approximately 0.75 MB appended to the chain for every block processed.

The transaction fees associated with blob-carrying transactions are notably more economical than standard transactions because blobs can be pruned after two weeks. This timeframe strikes a balance, ensuring all actors within an L2 system can retrieve the data while maintaining manageable disk usage. In contrast, traditional Ethereum transactions feature data that persists on the blockchain indefinitely.

Blob transactions will introduce their own gas market, operating independently from other transactions and referred to as "blob gas."

Impact on Rollup Solutions

Rollups such as Arbitrum, Optimism, and Base already offer significantly lower transaction fees compared to Ethereum's L1 fees. However, the implementation of Proto-Danksharding could further reduce rollup transaction costs. Instead of embedding data within standard transactions, rollups can utilize blobs to post data on the Ethereum blockchain, taking advantage of the reduced transaction fees associated with blobs.

While data posted on the main chain through blobs may not be permanently available, this feature aligns with the needs of rollups, ensuring data is accessible long enough to support honest actors in constructing the rollup state, without cluttering the blockchain indefinitely.

Early estimates suggest that rollup fees could be slashed by up to 100 times with the introduction of this new transaction scheme. This development is poised to significantly enhance the cost-efficiency of rollup solutions, benefiting users and developers alike. OP Labs, the organization behind Optimism, anticipates a minimum 20x reduction in costs for rollup L1 transactions, thanks to the utilization of blobspace to minimize transaction expenses for users.

EIP-4844 presents an exciting advancement in Ethereum's ongoing quest for scalability and cost-effectiveness, making rollups an even more compelling solution in the blockchain ecosystem.