What problems did the gas fee once super-Ethereum main network Arbitrum expose?

L2 needs to be well-prepared for the arrival of users, not underestimating user engagement and overestimating network performance.

On the evening of June 29th, Beijing time, on the first day of the launch of the second phase of the Arbitrum Odyssey event, due to the heavy load on the chain resulting in higher than normal gas fees, Arbitrum announced the suspension of the Odyssey event.

According to L2 Fees data, the average gas fee per transaction on the Arbitrum network soared by more than $9 on this day, more than double the gas fee on the Ethereum mainnet during the same period.

As one of the most popular Ethereum Layer 2 scaling networks, Arbitrum’s main goal is to significantly reduce gas costs to improve user experience, but it is undoubtedly ridiculous to see such a thing happen. So, what exactly happened to the Arbitrum network?

event review

The event starts with Arbitrum’s Odyssey event. Earlier, Arbitrum announced the launch of an 8-week Arbitrum ecological project exploration activity to encourage players to participate in the interaction of ecological projects, including cross-chain bridges, DeFi, NFTs and games. The first week of activities focused on cross-border projects. On the chain bridge, most of the transactions are initiated from other chains and directly credited to the account. Only some cross-chain bridges need to be withdrawn manually, so there is no abnormality in the Arbitrum network.

The second week of Odyssey’s activities includes the experience tasks of the fixed-rate lending protocol Yield Protocol and the decentralized trading platform GMX. The operations of these protocols are relatively complicated. The tasks of the GMX platform require users to complete 3 interactions, but the high gas fee makes Users feel uncomfortable and prompt users to look for the reasons in various ways.

According to GMX community members, the minimum transaction fee of GMX the previous day was 0.0006 ETH, but it is currently set to 0.005 ETH (setMinExecutionFee = 0.005 ETH). This fee is not a gas fee, but is used to start and close the GMX interactive contract. GMX lowered the fee to 0.002 ETH after a large number of users discovered the reason and strongly opposed it.

However, it should be noted that during this period, the gas fees of most applications on Arbitrum did not increase significantly. Taking Uniswap as an example, the Ethereum mainnet fee is 0.005 ETH, and the gas fee on Arbitrum is half of that – 0.0025 ETH ($2.75); in addition, Arbiscan data shows that the vast majority of Arbitrum on-chain transaction transaction fees are 0.002 ETH ~ 0.003 ETH (under $3), and not more than $6.

That is to say, Arbitrum’s high gas cost is mainly averaged out by GMX, and “the gas cost of the second-layer network is significantly higher than that of the Ethereum main network” is more of an illusion. At the same time, these data seem to point the finger at GMX, and some even accuse GMX of secretly raising fees to make a fortune.

As for the reason for adjusting the parameters, GMX responded on the Discord channel that the process of users opening and closing positions on GMX involves two parts of transactions, namely sending requests to open/close positions, and keeper to execute requests. The cost of these transactions depends on Current Arbitrum Gas prices. Arbitrum’s Gas price has spiked over the past few hours due to a significant increase in Odyssey-related on-chain activity, but the fee for sending requests to open/close positions is only used to execute transactions; the fee for keeper to execute requests , GMX does not and will not earn any revenue from such fees.

After GMX’s official explanation, the gas fee of the entire Arbitrum network remains high. Arbitrum announced at around 11pm that due to the heavy load on the chain resulting in higher than normal gas fees, the decision was made to suspend Odyssey activities and deploy Nitro to increase its capacity and reduce transaction costs so that all communities and projects within Arbitrum continue to have the best experience. However, no specific date for the launch of Nitro has been announced.

The real reason for Arbitrum network congestion

The POW mechanism on Ethereum makes users suffer from network congestion. During large-scale transactions or transfers, network congestion is very likely to occur. Users must pay higher than usual gas fees to impress miners to help process transactions.

However, Layer 2 also has a similar bidding mechanism. According to GoPlus Security’s analysis of the soaring Arbitrum Gas fee, the cost of Layer 2 is divided into two parts, one part is the L1 data submission fee. In theory, the more users, the cheaper the cost per user; the other part is the Sequencer of Layer 2 itself. The running cost is more expensive when there are more people.

Therefore, the real reason for the high gas fees of the Arbitrum network is that the Odyssey activity is so hot that the Arbitrum network can’t bear it by default . The nodes responsible for processing transactions (Sequencer) in the Arbitrum network currently have a bandwidth limit of 120,000 arbgas per second. Arbgas is a unit of measure used for computation and storage of transaction data. A large influx of users will increase the computational gas by more than 1000 times, making the computational gas of each transaction occupy too much bandwidth, and the number of nodes will increase. In the same situation, the ability of the entire network to process transactions has dropped significantly.

What problems did the gas fee once super-Ethereum main network Arbitrum expose?

At the same time, the price of arbgas in each transaction is fully defined by the node. In theory, the node can reduce the arbgas to 0 to maintain the performance of Layer 2’s low transaction fee, but this operation will cause the node to be too late to process a large number of transaction events, and the final result is still the network. congestion. In this case, Arbitrum’s best contingency plan is to suspend Odyssey activities, and the fundamental solution is to start Nitro to expand network bandwidth.

It is understood that Arbitrum Nitro is based on WASM technology and compiles the core of the Ethereum client Geth into Arbitrum, and also provides cross-chain communication and a new batch processing and compression system. , thus more compatible with EVM and an order of magnitude faster than current technology. The official team expects that with Arbitrum Nitro running, Layer 2 execution will be 20 to 50 times faster and costs will drop significantly.

GoPlus Security also said that all Layer2 networks will have this problem. The solution given by GoPlus Security is to optimize the billing model and reduce the actual cost of Computational.

How the Layer 2 story continues

The main direction of Layer2 expansion is Rollup, that is, multiple transactions are packaged on the second-layer network, and then submitted to the main network as a whole for verification and settlement to improve transaction speed. The four big kings of Rollup such as Arbitrum are highly expected by the market, but Optimism and Arbitrum network have encountered major problems one after another, which reflects that Layer 2 is still in a very early stage, and with the influx of users, the appearance of various bugs may become normalized event.

Earlier in early June, Optimism opened the collection of airdrop tokens OP. However, the high load caused by large-scale users caused serious delays in the main network and remote calls (RPC). Optimism deployed 10 engineers to maintain the normal operation of public endpoints. Also double the capacity of Optimism to alleviate the state of network latency. Post-mortem Optimism reflection greatly underestimated the amount of traffic an airdrop would generate, requiring a 7x increase in capacity on public endpoints, and lessons learned include performing regular load tests, replacing drops with over-provisioning, asking partners to scale up capacity ahead of time, prioritizing concurrent batching Submit and so on.

There is also an upgrade of StarkNet v0.9.0, which will invalidate the previous wallet address, and all early project participants of the testnet face problems such as unavailability of the whitelist, loss of activity history, and cumbersome asset transfer.

Although a number of Layer2 protocols have proposed solutions to further improve performance, can the development speed be able to meet the rapidly growing needs of game applications? At present, some head applications have chosen to explore other public chains. On June 22, the leading derivatives protocol dYdX announced that the subsequent v4 version will be launched as an independent blockchain based on the Cosmos SDK and Tendermint consensus. The reason is that Stark’s technology development cycle is long, and it will take a long time for the L2 solution Node Operator network to be completely decentralized.

Layer 2 needs to be well-prepared for the arrival of users, and cannot underestimate user engagement and overestimate network performance every time. Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, expressed his opinion on the personal social platform: Layer2 is not a panacea, and for Arbitrum, their Nitro has made a huge improvement in batch processing and compression.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-problems-did-the-gas-fee-once-super-ethereum-main-network-arbitrum-expose/
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