How Base is Reducing Fees Across the Board with EIP-4844

How Base is Reducing Fees Across the Board with EIP-4844

Driving Fees Down Across the Board

One of our 2024 roadmap initiatives is to drive fees down across the board. We believe that fast, affordable transactions on a secure, decentralized L2 are critical to enabling everyone, everywhere to come onchain.

To further this goal, Base and Coinbase teams began contributing to EIP-4844 in early 2022 and have been actively driving the initiative forward over the past two years. EIP-4844 aims to increase data availability capacity and is expected to significantly drive down transaction fees for users of Ethereum L2s like Base. It activates on Ethereum L1 with the upcoming Dencun upgrade on March 13. The Ecotone OP Stack upgrade, activating only hours after Dencun, will bring these fee reductions to the Superchain.

We couldn’t be more excited to see this important upgrade come to mainnet, and to have worked alongside OP Labs (Protolambda, Mofi Taiwo), Ethereum Foundation, and other Ethereum core development teams to bring it to life.

Base will continue contributing to the next phase of danksharding and optimizing the OP Stack to continue driving down costs. Read more about our 2024 roadmap.

How EIP-4844 Works

EIP-4844 was first proposed by Protolambda from OP Labs and Ethereum researcher Dankrad Feist in 2022. The goal was to make it cheaper for rollups to send their data to L1 and pass these cost-savings on to end users. EIP-4844 accomplishes this by introducing a new type of data called “blobs” associated with L1 blocks:

  • Blobs are purely additive to Ethereum’s existing capacity for data availability.
  • The fee market for blobs is independent of regular transactions, so their cost can remain low even when the L1 is otherwise congested.
  • L1 nodes can delete blobs after ~18 days, preventing data bloat and capping additional storage requirements.
  • Rollup operators can archive blob contents off-chain to ensure longer-term availability.

Coinbase and Base’s Involvement in EIP-4844

As the Ethereum community was starting to rally builders around EIP-4844 in early 2022, Coinbase was starting to explore platforms for building onchain, an effort that would eventually lead to Base. One thing became clear for the Coinbase team: while Ethereum’s security and developer adoption made it the clear platform choice, its scaling roadmap needed acceleration. EIP-4844 was the natural bet to invest in.

To drive EIP-4844 forward, Coinbase contributed engineering resources, first led by engineer Michael de Hoog, and then by distinguished engineer and Base Core Developer Roberto Bayardo. They worked on:

  • Delivering prototype implementations for EIP-4844
  • Rallying community support, led by Jesse Pollak
  • Helping refine the 4844 specification
  • Driving consensus on key issues
  • Extending the OP Stack to use EIP-4844 blobs for data availability

Building Together Towards a More Accessible, Vibrant Onchain Economy

EIP-4844 itself is only the initial step towards danksharding, which is expected to deliver further scalability improvements to Ethereum and reduce data availability costs by another 10-100x. We’re excited to continue working with the Ethereum and Superchain communities on this roadmap to grow the onchain economy through increased scale and lower fees.

Cheaper, faster transactions are absolutely critical for continuing to enable innovation and unlocking nascent use cases — such as onchain gaming and closed limit order book exchanges. They will also make it more practical to apply developing ideas from the rapidly advancing fields of cryptography and AI within onchain apps, leading to entirely new application classes yet to be conceived.

We’re grateful for the builders who have supported the Ethereum community in this journey. If you’d like to commemorate this milestone, don’t miss the short film NFT “Delivery at Dawn” by the Nouns Community, The Line, and Stateful Works that celebrates the arrival of EIP-4844.