Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has recently expressed his concerns regarding the network’s high transaction fees and slow processing times, which he believes hinder mass adoption. In a blog post on February 28th, Buterin recounted his own experiences with Ethereum payments, stating that he faced many inconveniences due to high transaction fees, sometimes costing more than the product he wanted to pay for.
Buterin’s issues with Ethereum date back to 2021, when he tried to pay for tea in Argentina with ETH, but the 0.003 ETH transaction was not accepted due to the exchange’s minimum deposit requirements. He ended up overpaying three-fold for the tea, realizing that this was an error that needed to be fixed to improve user experience.
In 2022, Buterin tried to pay for tea again, but gas fees prevented him from doing so, as the transaction was not processed due to the receiving contract’s requirement for extra gas to process the transfer. These bad experiences served as a lesson for him to understand that “simple-and-robust UIs are better than fancy-and-sleek ones.”
Buterin also expressed his frustration with the “surprisingly long time delay between transactions,” which can be irritating and lead to doubts about who is to blame when transactions are not confirmed quickly. He acknowledged that although the team has worked to improve these issues with the EIP-1559 update, outliers still remain, leading to the rejection of many transactions if there is a spike in fees due to high demand.
Despite the Ethereum Merge, which helped speed up the average time to process transactions, Buterin believes that there is still a lot to be done to achieve global adoption. He expressed his concern that many people in Southern countries choose centralized solutions instead of decentralized alternatives due to outdated applications and poor user experience.
Buterin suggested that default values should be improved, as many users do not even know what gas limits they need to process their transactions. He also called for simple-and-robust UIs, stating that “wallet UIs suck at showing” fee spikes, leading to significant money losses for even the most expert users.
The ETH network needs to address the issue of high transaction fees and slow processing times to achieve mass adoption. Buterin’s suggestions for improving default values and using simple-and-robust UIs could go a long way in improving the user experience. However, there is still much work to be done to achieve the global adoption that crypto enthusiasts dream of.
In ither recent statements, Buterin has also expressed his support for blockchain interoperability and the potential for Ethereum to work with other blockchain networks. He believes that interoperability could lead to new use cases and applications, opening up the possibility for decentralized finance (DeFi) to become a more mainstream financial alternative.
While monitoring the progress of proof of reserves in November 2022, Buterin noted the drawbacks of the current techniques employed by centralised exchanges to demonstrate trustlessness and provided solutions. Buterin’s vision for Ethereum and the broader blockchain industry is one of collaboration and innovation, and his contributions have been critical to the growth and success of the ecosystem.