- Ethereum’s gas fees remain stable despite the viral success of Friend.tech, showing a significant drop in congestion.
- Layer-2 solutions like Coinbase’s Base may be responsible for this improved scalability, indicating the success of Ethereum’s layering strategy.
Layer-2 Networks — The Unsung Heroes?
As the frenetic activity surrounding Friend.tech gains momentum, a remarkable aspect emerges from the smokescreen — Ethereum’s network isn’t breaking a sweat. Traditional metrics would suggest that a sudden crypto phenomenon like Friend.tech, which has amassed more than 100,000 users and accrued over $25 million in fees, should invariably congest Ethereum’s main network and shoot up gas fees. However, the status quo begs to differ. The daily gas fees on Ethereum have been 26% lower than the annual average since the launch of Friend.tech, according to FalconX Research. What’s the magic formula? Enter Layer-2 networks.
Ethereum’s proponents have long touted Layer-2 solutions as the future of blockchain scalability. These are secondary frameworks that perform the heavy lifting off the main blockchain, allowing for more rapid and cost-efficient transactions. And it appears that the future is now, as this vision of decongestion seems to be crystallizing into reality. The recent rollout of Coinbase’s Layer-2 project, Base, is being widely speculated as a game-changer in this equation.
In historical context, Ethereum’s network has faced turbulent periods of high gas fees owing to sudden bursts in activity. Recall the CryptoKitties saga of December 2017, where gas fees rocketed to 900 gwei, or the surge to 7,600 gwei ($439) in April 2022 during the launch of Otherdeeds NFTs. A median gas fee of 155 gwei was also recorded in May this year, driven by the pepecoin frenzy.
Yet, at the zenith of Friend.tech’s meteoric rise, the median gas fee on Ethereum was a surprisingly moderate 13 gwei. This is largely due to Friend.tech’s operations on the Base sub-network, a Layer-2 solution, thereby sparing the main Ethereum network from an avalanche of transactions. The traffic data further strengthens the narrative, as Friend.tech catalyzed a record high of 15.88 transactions per second (TPS) on Base, outperforming Ethereum and even other Layer-2 blockchains like Arbitrum and Optimism.
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This successful mitigation of the scalability problem isn’t merely a one-off event. Established Layer-2 networks such as Arbitrum, Optimism, and zkSync are increasingly absorbing a larger volume of transactions, which reflects a system-wide trend and not just a Base-centric anomaly.
Overall, the signs point to a newfound robustness in Ethereum’s network architecture, evidenced by its stoic handling of the Friend.tech storm. As Ethereum plans further upgrades like proto-danksharding (EIP-4844), the ecosystem’s capacity to sustain higher transaction volumes appears promising. And as this chapter in blockchain technology unfolds, Ethereum seems more ready than ever to navigate the choppy waters of crypto mania, thanks to its Layer-2 scaling solutions.
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