Solana’s new gas fees won’t make the network ‘expensive’, says co-founder


In short

  • Solana is rolling out a new fee tiering model alongside other network upgrades aimed at stability.
  • The model will charge additional fees during times of congestion, but only for in-demand apps and services.

Solana is set to introduce a new fee tiering model, which is designed to help mitigate the impact of in-demand apps and services alongside other new technology upgrades. But unlike EthereumSolana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko claims the model won’t punish users with high network-wide fees.

Solana Labs revealed the first details about the new fee implementation last month in a post-mortem reportfollowing the network crash blamed on bots (or users’ automated programs) overwhelming a NFT mint. According to the report, the new model will adopt a “neighborhood fee” approach that will not impact the wider network.

Wednesday evening, Yakovenko wrote a Twitter thread explaining how this new approach to charge tiering works, following the initial deployment of the v1.10.25 Solana network update. In an interview today with Decrypt, he further shared his views on how the upgrade can help stabilize the network.

In his head, Yakovenko used the analogy that there is “a light switch” that “everyone wants to flip on at the same time”. Ultimately, the “highest bidder can flip the switch”. In other words, when applied to a block chain network with validators acting in their own interest, the person who pays the most gas costs—the amount paid to the networksees their transaction pushed to the fore.

On Ethereumthese gas charges can be incredibly expensive, ranging from hundreds or even thousands of dollars, as seen in the Recent Otherside Virtual Land Drop from the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club. Worse, a single NFT hot drop or token launch can impact the entire network, making each Ethereum transaction costlier in the process.

This is not the case with Solana’s new model, according to Yakovenko. He wrote that each decentralized application (dapp) works as a single switch in his analogy. “A specific NFT auction, or specific Serum market, or orca The AMM pool is a switch,” he wrote. Fees are used to prioritize transactions within a certain application or protocol, not across the entire network.

Therefore, the increased fee for an app should have no impact on the wider Solana network. Collectors trying to nab NFTs in a mint or in-demand launch will see high feespotentially leading to the kind of “gas wars” that collectors have experienced on Ethereumbut people transacting elsewhere on the Solana network shouldn’t see any fee impact as a result.

How it works

In conversation with Decrypt Today, Yakovenko explained that Solana’s architecture enables this capability because it can specify which part of the network state it interacts with, so it can choose certain accounts to write to. An NFT launch using Metaplex Candy Machine The mint contract would therefore be one of many accounts that could be active on Solana.

Network validators will be able to add a certain number of transactions for a particular writable account in each block, depending on the priorities of the additional fees paid by users. But Yakovenko then said they would have “plenty of resources to add transactions” from other accounts elsewhere on the network, with no impact on the fees of any particular in-demand app or service.

“You should see these buckets being filled in order of the highest paid bucket,” he said. Decrypt“but then as soon as one is saturated, the others are also filled.”

Solana’s base transaction fees are minimal, typically a fraction of a SOL penny. What users can pay under this new model is considered an additional fee, which Yakovenko says will be a user-specified rate based on the compute units needed to execute the instructions in the transaction.

How much will users potentially pay in additional fees? It’s not clear at the moment. A representative from Solana Labs said no estimate could be provided, as it is demand-driven. Whether the fee ends up being “expensive” compared to Solana’s base fee or other networks remains to be seen, but demand for certain apps shouldn’t impact everyone using the network at a time. given.

As mentioned, the fee tiering model is part of the Solana mainnet beta v1.10.25 network update. But that’s not the only new tech addition, and the full package is designed to help stabilize the Solana network after three notable downtimes since last fall.

Another key piece of the puzzle is QUIC, a Google-developed protocol that will replace Solana’s existing “raw UDP” (User Datagram Protocol), Yakovenko said. QUIC includes flow control capabilities, “where you can force bots and senders to back off and slow down,” he added.

This is key to keeping the network up and running, as we saw on April 30. On this date, the bots sent several million transactions per second to try and hot NFT launch Solana and kick out legitimate users. That added about 100 gigabits of data per second, Yakovenko said, overwhelming validators’ devices.

“This rate was high enough to overwhelm the network and test parts of the system that may not have seen this amount of traffic before,” Yakovenko said.

With QUIC, robots are “essentially strangled at the source”, he added, effectively reducing the impact of such demanding actors. Previously implemented Metaplex a so-called “bot tax” which is specific to NFT currencies using its Candy Machine protocol, but the impact of QUIC should be felt more widely on the Solana network.

Stability in sight?

In addition to QUIC and the fee tiering model, the other addition is stake-weighted QoS, a feature that takes into account the amount of SOL staked (or held) within the network by any node running the Solana customer. If a node holds 0.5% of the total stake, it should be able to send at least 0.5% of the data packets to the main validator during periods of congestion.

This is another item designed to prevent overwhelming network congestion from bots or other malicious sources. With this model, unstaked connections “will be dropped faster than staked ones,” Yakovenko said, while connections with a network stake will be throttled to the point where they won’t prevent other staked users from participating in the network.

Altogether, the technology updates implemented in the v1.10.25 update are designed as a one-two-three punch to improve Solana’s network stability. Solana was recently for about four hours on June 1 due to a bug, following the unavailability of seven hours in April and September 5 p.m. shutdown due to the overwhelming traffic of a Challenge token launch.

Validators are currently in the process of adopting the update, and then once 95% of the decentralized network has been updated, validators can begin to “enable features,” Yakovenko said. This may require further iteration, he added, and eventually it may take a few weeks before users begin to experience the additional charges.

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