At one of the last meetings, Ethereum developers Raul Jordan, Vlad Zamfir, Philip Dayan and Vitalik Buterin discussed the “biggest problem” – the current network protocol does not imply payment for long-term data storage at the base level of the blockchain.
Currently, the user who starts the smart contract in the main network lumps out the commission at a time, after which all the nodes are forced to store this information on an ongoing basis. Jordan believes that it is necessary to introduce a rent for the use of space in the detachment, but this should not prevent the developers from experimenting with new decentralized applications.
According to Buterin, contracts, which users and developers forget, should disappear by default.
Dayan proposes to introduce a mechanism for collecting rent, stating that “any system that allows its users to store data in one form or another must collect the rent.” Although the cost of storing smart contracts in the core network is currently “covered by a public storage model that incurs additional costs associated with the transfer of transactions through smart contracts in the long term,” such a system will not work in the interests of the network.
Buterin proposed two possible solutions to the current situation. First, the maximum size of the main network can be limited. Additional commissions will deter users from exceeding this limit.
He also noted that after the introduction of the technology of shading, the commissions collected in this way will be significantly reduced: commissions charged after the introduction of shading will be equivalent to commissions that were charged before the introduction of technology, divided by the number of shards.
According to the model of Buterin, at any time when the user sends a transaction related to a certain contract, an additional payment will be automatically charged from him, which will be sufficient to ensure the functioning of the contract for several years. The tokens so generated will be destroyed. Buterin suggests that over time, the commission will decrease, but not increase, along with technological improvement of the network.
The creator of Ethereum recognizes that the collection of commissions in its own cryptocurrency network Ether can lead to the fact that these commissions increase significantly along with the growth of the course of the cryptocurrency, but the same problem has to be faced by users transmitting through normal Ethereum blockchain transactions.
The second proposal of Butherin is based on the model of “pay to resurrect”. According to this proposal, smart contracts will be able to go to sleep after a period of inactivity. To awaken the contract, the user will provide proof that contains information about the contract at the time when he went to sleep. Buterin suggests that this evidence will be distributed in the secondary market.
While the developers have not been able to come to a consensus. As noted by Dayan, changes of this level will have too strong influence on the Ethereum network, so the final decision can not be made with the participation of “a small group of people.”
However, not all community members share the view that there is a need to introduce rent for storing information in the Ethereum detachment. So, the developer Mathias Gronnebak noted that currently the costs associated with data storage are covered by the Ether inflation, and the introduction of an additional fee can damage the protocol.
Dayan, in turn, argues that the pricing for the use of the network should be “reasonable and stimulating”, and this concerns not only the storage of information, but also the calculations carried out in the network.