Home » Gas Limit & Block Interval – Blockchain Scalability

Gas Limit & Block Interval – Blockchain Scalability

by Osman Kuzucu

Blockchains come at various sizes and shapes, there are many options to choose from. Often the end user doesn’t know much about the technology behind the blockchains. Even though new generation of blockchains allow smart contract deployment and function execution, we will be focusing on the EVM technology today. And today’s topic is: Block Gas Limit & Block Interval and we will be talking about blockchain scalability in general.

Blockchains need to be scalable

What is EVM?

omchain is also an EVM compatible blockchain. Check out our documentation to learn more about omchain infrastructure.

Lets talk about blockchains and more specifically how we are utilizing them. EVM initially standed for Ethereum Virtual Machine. However, EVM technology is now used by other blockchains too. Most of the blockchains and blockchain based applications we are aware of run on public EVM chains. We will call them EVM chains because there are blockchains providing smart contract execution logic without being EVM compliant. In fact, Solana & Polkadot & Cardano & Algorand are blockchains who are not EVM compatible. To be more specific, they weren’t EVM compatible at first but now they are either exploring implementing EVM compatibility or issuing a side-chain that can run EVM code. The reason is simple: it’s easier to find developers who can code things that will run on an EVM compatible chain.

In fact, you can visit Chainlist to see all the EVM chains (and believe us, there are a lot of them)

Blockchain Scalability

Since many users are willing to do transactions on blockchains for different reasons (security, decentralization, automated tasks and programs) there has to be a way to determine whose transaction will be included in a block. The problem arises from different nodes trying to synchronize with each other. For example, Ethereum network has over 5K+ nodes that are almost always synched with each other, providing security and decentralization to the users of the network. Even though it might seem like an awesome feature, it comes with a problem: scalability.

Because there are so many nodes trying to catch up with each other and each one of them has to record the incoming blocks and propagate the messages to other nodes, a blockchain can process only a limited amount of transactions. In fact, this issue is known as Blockchain Trilemma. A blockchain can only have two features out of three: decentralized, scalable and secure.

Blockchain Trilemma Illustrated

If a blockchain is decentralized and secure, then it’s not so scalable. And if a blockchain is scalable and decentralized, then it gives up from the security. And if a blockchain is scalable and secure, it is not so decentralized.

So, in a decentralized and secure network, when there are a lot of users trying to use the blockchain or want their transactions to be processed, they keep increasing their bids on the fee for their transaction. So that their transaction gets included in the block faster than others.

What is Gas?

In order to pay for transaction fees, Bitcoin utilizes a simple way: pay a fee based on the vBytes they are using (read more about vBytes and wu here). Unlike Bitcoin, because the EVM can run codes and loops and executions, it is not smart to price the transactions in terms of the storage units. That’s why they cost are determined by the execution units. And we call the execution units gas, yes, exactly like the gas we burn in our houses and cars (not so much now as we’re going green!).

Every operation in EVM has a gas cost, if you want to see the chart, visit here: https://ethereum.org/tr/developers/docs/evm/opcodes/

What is Block Gas Limit & Block Interval?

So, in order nodes to be able to in-synch with the rest of the network, blockchains utilize a block gas limit, which means in any given block there can only be a limited amount of execution. For example, omchain has a block limit of 50 million gas, which means it can process 2300+ transactions each block. And for Ethereum this limit is at 30 million gas and it can process roughly 1400 transactions per block. But block gas limit is not the only thing that effects the blockchain scalability. The block interval (time it takes on average to produce a block) is also another metric that effects the TPS (transactions per second) of a blockchain.

On average Ethereum network produces new blocks every 13 seconds. Combining this with the block gas limit, it can process around 100 transfer transactions per block, or 50 token transfers. The reason is while Ethereum transfers consumes 21,000 gas, the token transfers consume from 38,000 to 60,000 gas depending on the smart contract of the token.

Unlike Ethereum, omchain has a block interval of 2 seconds. Which means it can process 1150+ OMC transfers per second, or 600+ token transfers. In fact, previously we have a transaction that airdropped RSHR tokens to more than 800 different addresses in one transaction utilizing a disperse smart contract. You can see the huge transaction here: https://explorer.omchain.io/tx/0x8f8878172a7c13badba9df0b8881f0e2574f26fe32375c50a58a0cf63152f59c/token-transfers

Such transactions, much wow: The #10636544th block of omchain Mainnet

To sump up, gas is the base unit of EVM chains, and every computing operation (including storing data) has a cost in terms of gas. And blockchains can’t process thousands of blocks per seconds, instead they process a block once every few seconds, depending on the configuration of the blockchain, which is called block interval.

If you want to learn about specifications of the omchain and want to deploy your own smart contract to have a blockchain that has maximum speed and minimum fees, visit https://docs.omchain.io/ to get started!

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Feel free to send us a message if you would like to hear and learn more about #omchain

Powered by Open Money