Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin Proposes Crypto Wallet Fee to Fund Developers

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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has recently proposed that cryptocurrency wallets charge a small gas fee for transactions, in order to help funds its developers. In his suggestion, a small amount in fees could collectively lead to up to $2 million a year.

Via microblogging platform Twitter, Buterin made his suggestion, proposing a “one-off” 1gewi payment for transactions from ETH wallets.

Transaction fees on the Ethereum network are denominated in gas, which itself is measured in gewi. The fees see users compensate miners for the computational energy used to secure the network and validate transactions. About 73,000 gwei equal $0.01.

Buterin noted he would like to see the fee as a norm and not a mandate in the Ethereum ecosystem. When asked how he could stop users from freeriding by bypassing these costs, he noted that while it would be possible to do so, hopefully the fee could be set low enough to avoid incentivizing the development of “pirated” ETH clients.

The crypto community’s response to Buterin was initially mixed, but soon critics started piling up. One user pointed out a wallet called MultiBit attempted to add a similar system, but “users were not willing to pay for something that was previously free.”

One user noted that adding fees for specific purposes like this could snowball, and eventually give governments throughout the world a chance to collect taxes on cryptocurrency transactions through fee.

Buterin has in the past proposed fees to pay for storage on the network, and for account creation, similar to those on the EOS blockchain. Recently, he compared bitcoin to a pocket calculator and Ethereum to a smartphone, as the flagship cryptocurrency does one thing well, while ETH is capable of doing nearly everything.

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has, as covered, implemented its Constantinople and St. Petersburg network upgrades, which among other things increased the network’s efficiency. Its block generation rate has also increased as its ‘difficulty bomb’ was diffused as expected.

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