Are Blobscriptions Here to Stay? Its Creator Thinks So

Blobscriptions have caused a stir, but layer-2 fees remain low

By: André Beganski

April 2, 2024

When Ethereum’s fees became prohibitively expensive for some builders, layer-2 networks were introduced as scaling solutions that were meant to save the day. 

Less than two weeks after Ethereum’s latest upgrade, however, people are already playing with the newest structure on Ethereum’s permissionless playground in unintended ways — jacking up costs for so-called blobs dedicated to layer-2 networks.

Completed in March, Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade introduced a new way for layer-2s to post transaction data. The result: networks built on top of Ethereum now use blobs to cheaply post transactions, bolstering Ethereum’s scalability and reducing user fees to a handful of pennies.

The drop in costs represents significant savings for layer-2s compared to before, or on Ethereum’s mainnet, where it costs upwards of $2 to send Ethereum. But the associated price of blobs has spiked recently, and is rising again, as layer-2 networks grapple with “blobscriptions.”

When the novel use of blobs first appeared last Wednesday, for example, an influx of activity caused costs to soar. A base fee for blobs spiked nearly 60,000% to at least 580 gwei from 1 wei (1 gwei is equal to 1,000,000,000 wei) and currently sits at 71 gwei, according to data from

While the extra costs created for layer-2s have frustrated some and bewildered others — given inscriptions were popularized as an alternative to NFTs on Bitcoin last year — Facet co-founder Tom Lehman said blobscriptions are leveling the playing field in an interview with Coinage.

“What we saw is that the price of blobs before [blobscriptions] was artificially low, because people were artificially excluded from playing the blob game,” Lehman said, who is also the co-founder of Ethscriptions. “The idea here is giving people the ability to use blobs without the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation being able to shut them down.”

From his perspective, expanding Ethscriptions to let users post data to blobs was in line with crypto’s permissionless ethos. Ideologically, it doesn’t make sense that only layer-2s could post data to blobs, especially when some, such as Base, have been created by companies like Coinbase, America’s leading crypto exchange, and pose risks of centralization.

“Blobs are supposed to be used by everyone, except the intended use was that your blob use was supposed to be mediated by a layer-2,” he said. “So, if you want to write to a blob, the idea … is you can't write to that blob without a layer-2’s permission.”

The introduction of blobscriptions is experimental, but also a response to a political issue in crypto, Lehman argued. “Normal people [are being] empowered to use new Ethereum functionality,” he said, adding blobscriptions addressed “actual demand by actual people.”

Still, making blobs easily accessible hasn’t derailed their adoption or associated benefits, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin wrote in a blog post published last week. Rather, after a period of being nearly without charge, market dynamics for blobs have finally emerged.

“Blobs are not free, but they remain much cheaper than calldata,” he said, referencing the manner in which layer-2s posted transactions before. “From here, important scaling work … will continue to take place, but it will be more incremental.”


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