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Maybe this is a basic question, but I can’t figure out what are the block rewards and/or transaction fees for miners of smart contracts . When talking about a cryptocurrency, the block rewards are new coins given to the miner, right?

Then, I guessed that the reward for miners of smart contracts are the native tokens (or ether) used as fuel for the smart contracts, but I’ve read an article that says that they are not the same thing. Can you help me understand? Thanks

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When talking about a cryptocurrency, the block rewards are new coins given to the miner, right?

yes

I guessed that the reward for miners of smart contracts are the native tokens

Also you are correct. Smart contracts are deployed via transactions. Hence mining a smart contract is also just another transaction and miners are rewarded using native currency, Ether.

As per the link provided, the confusing part of the article is

Miners essentially ensure, or “validate”, the transactions within each block to guarantee the blockchain’s integrity and are subsequently compensated through block rewards as well as transaction fees. They are the engines of the blockchain, with block rewards and fees being the “gas” (not to be confused with Ethereum’s “gas” which powers smart-contracts) that compensates and fuels their work

As I feel, here the author tries to highlight the fact that block rewards and fees are the reason why miners mine. As block rewards and fees are needed as incentive for miners to mine, author tries to metaphorize(to show a similarity) it with gas to an engine.

Since he is generally speaking about blockchain, he specifically mentions that it is not the term 'gas' in ethereum he is referring to. While aforementioned fact (the idea of miners need an incentive) is valid in ethereum ecosystem as well, in ethereum the term 'gas' is a keyword and is referred to the unit that measure the computational work a miner has to do. E.g. for an addition operation a miner has to spend 3 gas.

  • Here’s the link: medium.com/@brian.koralewski/… – moumous87 Jul 28 '18 at 11:28
  • "They are the engines of the blockchain, with block rewards and fees being the “gas” (not to be confused with Ethereum’s “gas” which powers smart-contracts) that compensates and fuels their work." is it this part that bothered you? – Achala Dissanayake Jul 28 '18 at 11:44
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    That's just confusing for anyone who isn't American. Actually, that's just confusing whichever way you look at it :-) In the UK we don't put "gas" (i.e. gasoline) into engines, we call it petrol (i.e. petroleum). Using the term "gas" twice in the same sentence to mean two different things, especially where one of those things has different names in different parts of the world, is just asking for trouble. Even more so when talking about something as esoteric as the difference between gas and ether. – Richard Horrocks Jul 28 '18 at 11:50
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    @RichardHorrocks yeah, it's an author biased statement. I think what he has tried to convey is simply that miners stay in the network because of the block rewards and fees. – Achala Dissanayake Jul 28 '18 at 11:55
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I'm guessing you've read something that says gas isn't the same thing as ether, which is correct.

I guessed that the reward for miners of smart contracts are the native tokens (or ether)...

Correct.

...used as fuel for the smart contracts...

Yes, but it's a bit more involved.

When a miner runs a smart contract, the associated operations inside the EVM require a certain amount of work, and that work is measured in gas. When you submit your transaction, you quote a price that you're willing to pay for each unit of work, and that price is in wei (i.e. ether).

So although ether could be considered the fuel, there's a decoupling of actual ether prices from the operations done inside the EVM, and that decoupling requires this idea of gas, which is the actual work being done.

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