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Ethereum Faces ‘Blobscriptions’ in Initial Stress Test of Blockchain’s New Data System

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The new, less expensive class of data storage on the blockchain known as “blobs” is causing Ethereum costs to soar. This is because a project named Ethscriptions invented a new method of data inscribing known as “blobscriptions.”

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Just a few weeks ago, the Ethereum blockchain underwent a revolutionary upgrade that created a specific area for storing data, or “blobs,” with the goal of lowering fees and easing congestion.

However, a new project has already emerged to congest the so-called blob sector, driving increasing fees and posing the first significant stress test for the nascent blob market.

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Following the creation of a new method for minting inscriptions on data blobs, or “blobscriptions,” by a project named Ethscriptions, Ethereum gas fees for blobs increased on Wednesday.

The Dune Analytics dashboard indicates that on Wednesday, the blob base charge increased to a minimum of 582 gwei ($266). The blob base charge was dropped to about 18 gwei ($8.69) as of Thursday’s posting.

Blocknative CEO Matt Cutler posted on X, “As widely predicted, it looks like March 27, 2024, will be remembered as the day that the ‘blobs are free EIP-4844 launch discount’ party came to an end – courtesy of Blob Inscriptions.”

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The proposal that introduced the new blob market is known as EIP-4844. It was integrated into Ethereum’s historic Dencun update, which was finished on March 13.

The several layer-2 networks developed on top of Ethereum, such as Arbitrum, Optimism, Polygon, and Coinbase’s Base, depend heavily on the blob space to execute transactions more swiftly and affordably than is feasible on the main chain. Reams of data must be parked on Ethereum by the layer 2s as part of the process, which significantly increases their overall prices.

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The Blobscriptions incident, according to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, forced the new blob-fee market into “price discovery mode,” but he also pointed out that data fees were still far lower than they would have been under the previous arrangement, which involved parking data as “calldata” in a typical Ethereum transaction.

“Blobs are not free, but they remain much cheaper than calldata,” said Buterin. From this point on, significant scaling effort will continue, albeit more gradually, in order to increase the number of blobs and enhance rollups’ capacity to utilize each blob to its fullest.


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