Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum and the main reference of its ecosystem at present, assured that wallets should increase the default value for maximum commissions. The current model, which he described as “horrible,” generates delays in transactions, he said.
Buterin’s criticism on Twitter points to the default commission options that Ethereum wallets display by default to their users. To cite one example, MetaMask offers three levels of fees to pay when making a trade: low, market, or aggressive. Each has a different cost and allows a transaction to be confirmed faster on the network based on what is produced.
Buterin has questioned the latter value, which MetaMask calls an “aggressive” rate and other wallets “high.” For the Russian-Canadian developer, setting the maximum base rate at a point just above the current base rate is horrible because it creates delays when the base rate increases just as a transaction is being made.
To avoid such a problem, the developer asked to increase the value of this default maximum commission to more than 1.3x concerning the base rate. “Although I would prefer more than 2x,” he redoubled the bet. As a further argument for his position, he showed Brave Wallet’s changes to its fee policy for Ethereum transactions.
About the rationale for Ethereum wallet developers to choose the current values, Buterin asserted that “it looks bad in the user interface to show a higher rate.” However, he opined that “there must be better ways to deal with this problem.” For example, he said, present the rate not as USD 4.25 but as USD 3-6. Use a range to “cover up” the payment of higher fares.
In the responses to his proposal (which is not official, but just commented on Twitter), several users criticized Buterin’s idea. For example, one of them opined that “people don’t want to spend USD 40 to send USD 400” and that this “is not an ‘excuse,’ but a problem with your product,” referring to Ethereum.
On the other hand, another user criticized the move to “camouflage” the payment of higher commissions to Ethereum miners by showing ranges instead of concrete values. “People avoid Ethereum transactions because of these programmatic attitudes,” he argued.
Here’s how Ethereum wallets handle fees
When using MetaMask to transact at the time of writing, the wallet sets a default maximum fee of 0.00051925 ETH for high or “aggressive” fee transactions. This equates, according to the CryptoNews price index, to USD 0.85.
In contrast, making a transaction with lower fees using the “low” or “market” fee options (which would mean a longer delay in confirmation) costs slightly less (between USD 0.79 and 0.82). These values change constantly and can be further apart when the network is more congested, as this newspaper has reported.
In short, Buterin proposes to increase the “ceiling” of the first value, the “aggressive” tariff. Thus, if a user wants to pay more to have his transaction confirmed faster, he will already have a default option to do so. In addition, if just as the transaction is being made, the network conditions change, paying a higher fee will prevent the transaction from being delayed and unconfirmed.