Ethereum’s Supporters Are Getting Increasingly Frustrated, Laments High Gas Fee

Ethereum is facing real challenges from other L1 protocols and is slowly losing some of its fervent supporters

Ethereum Frustrations

Many Ethereum’s network users are finding the network no longer suitable with its high gas fees, slow speed and frequent failed transactions and are seeking alternatives. In a damning tweet by Zhu Su, the Chief Executive Officer of Three Arrows Capital (3AC), an enterprise capital fund, did not hold back his words when he criticised Ethereum.    

Zhu Shu said in his tweet“Yes I have abandoned Ethereum despite supporting it in the past. Yes Ethereum has abandoned its users despite supporting them in the past. The idea of sitting around jerking off watching the burn and concocting purity tests, while zero newcomers can afford the chain, is gross.”

The tweet was not well received by the Ethereum community and the majority of the replies hinges on one point that the Ethereum developers are jealously guarding. It is the idea of preserving decentralization. 

In a reply by David Hoffman the co-founder of Bankless LLC, “Abandoning decentralization is the biggest sin that you can commit in this space. It’s easier to fix fees than it is to fix centralization.”

This tweet has sparked a debate on one of the most controversial areas in the blockchain industry. Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum coined the term ‘The Blockchain Trilemma’ which centres on the three basic concepts of security, scalability and decentralization. Choosing one will be at the expense of another. The three attributes cannot be maximised together. Developers working on Ethereum are definitely choosing decentralization over everything else. 

Purity Test

Zhu Su’s allegation of ‘concocting purity tests’ against Ethereum backers definitely did not sit well with Eth supporters. One objective method of evaluation is to merely ask if the average trader using a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocol on a regular basis on the Ethereum network can afford the gas fees. 

Source: Ethereum cannot disregard its community that is clamoring for a cheaper, faster and a more reliable network

The issue of scalability and high transaction fees has always been Ethereum’s achilles heel. If indeed blockchain technology brings financial access to the bankless or the underbanked, high fees will be a barrier. The remark by Zhu Su is stinging, but to those who use DeFi on the Ethereum network, what was said is true. Users will have to rely on Layer-2 solutions such as Polygon ($MATIC), Arbitrum and Optimism. 

Antonio, the founder of DyDx Protocol in support of Zhu Su tweeted, “This is said much harsher than I would put it, but I somewhat directionally agree. Ethereum has not executed over the past few years. I can’t think of a single 10x useful improvement Ethereum has made in the past *4 years*” 

Ethereum Killer

In 2017, the narrative of an ‘Ethereum Killer’ was rife. The competition for the top position as a layer-1 blockchain protocol heated up in 2021 when DeFi and the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) market exploded. Ethereum has the advantage as the first mover as the pioneer in smart contracts. Given the number of projects and developers building on the Ethereum network, it would not be easy to dethrone Ethereum from the top position. 

Source: Ethereum has the first mover advantage but this advantage will wane over time if its scalability and fees are not adequately addressed

However, if the problem persists and Ethereum 2.0 could not be implemented timeously, Ethereum will be the author of its own downfall. 

Closing Thoughts

The dream of a fully decentralized protocol is a virtuous dream. Not everyone in the crypto space shares the same aspiration. Many individuals now rely on crypto platforms as their financial gateway and a fully decentralized platform would definitely not be at the top of their list of concerns.

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