What does Ethereum need to be better? According to its founder, everything revolves around user experience. And on Feb 28, Vitalik Buterin spoke about the many problems on the Ethereum network that need to be fixed before actually solving that particular problem.
Vitalik explained on his blog that he faced many inconveniences when using the Ethereum network to process payments due to the high transaction fees, which sometimes ended up costing more than the product he wanted to pay for.
Vitalik’s problems with ETH date back to 2021
Vitalik recalled that his problems with Ethereum payments date back to 2021, when he visited Argentina and tried to pay for tea. To his surprise, the 0.003 ETH transaction was not accepted, perhaps because it was below the exchange’s minimum deposit of 0.01 ETH.
Despite this, Vitalik decided to send the required 0.007 ETH to complete this transaction. This represented a payment three times the price of the product, but he dismissed this charge and chose to think of it as a simple tip, realizing that it was an error that needed to be worked on to improve the user experience.
In 2022, he learned that things haven’t changed all that much. Vitalik tried to pay for tea again elsewhere. Gas fees prevented him from using his ETH this time around, as the transaction did not go through because the receiving contract “required extra gas to process the transfer.”
These bad experiences served as a lesson for him to understand that “simple and robust UIs are better than sophisticated and elegant”. He also learned that many users don’t even know what gas limits they need to process their transactions, so the default values should be improved.
Payment delays can be annoying for many users
Vitalik also complained about the “surprisingly long delay between my transactions”, which has been irritating as there is always the question of who is to blame when transactions are not confirmed quickly.
“Sometimes a transaction would be accepted within seconds, but other times it would take minutes or even hours.”
He added that while the team has worked to improve these issues with the EIP-1559 update, which ensures that most transactions are accepted in the next block, there is always a risk that things won’t work perfectly because “outliers still remain”.
For example, if many people transact at the same time, there is a risk that the network will experience increased fees, resulting in many transactions being rejected. This issue can cause significant loss of money even for the most experienced users, as “the wallet’s user interfaces suck at showing this”.
The Brave wallet has implemented a workaround for this issue. The team listened to your suggestions and increased the maximum base rate from 12.5% to 33%, improving both the interface and the user experience.
While Ethereum Merge has helped speed up the average transaction processing time, there is still a lot to fix to achieve the global adoption that cryptocurrency enthusiasts dream of.
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