Why does this minimum exist and what can we do to to reduce it further. This line of thought was spurred by this tweet from Vitalik:

"And there are layer 2's without data availability tradeoffs or liveness requirements, eg. tx mass-validation via ZK-SNARKs can reduce costs to < 1000 gas per tx if done well. That's ~500 tx/sec on-chain with all the security guarantees of on-chain."

I did a quick search through the yellow paper and there is no break down of the contributing factors to this. just

Gtransaction 21000 Paid for every transaction.

I think it is for the Ethereum fallback function. Basically, it's there to prevent people from accidentally sending Ether to a contract irrevocably.


Gtransaction is a so called intrinsic transaction cost, i.e. amount of gas paid by transaction initiator for the transaction to be processed in addition to any gas paid for EVM bytecode executed during transaction processing. Normal on-chain transaction cannot cost less than Gtransaction.

Though, off-chain transactions, such as Plasma transaction, or transactions validated en-masse via zero knowledge proofs may consume much less gas, in theory less then 1 gas unit per transaction. This is possible because arbitrary number of such transactions may be verified by one, or a few of on-chain transactions.

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