As I found here (What is Gas Limit in Ethereum?) and here (The Ethereum gas limit seems prohibitively low. Will it ever be raised? If so, when and how?), the gas limit is gradually growing (as the network grows). But is it possible that it will sometime drop below its current level or even below 3,141,592?

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here are the current values for Geth:

MinGasLimit     = big.NewInt(5000)                  // Minimum the gas limit may ever be.
GenesisGasLimit = big.NewInt(4712388)               // Gas limit of the Genesis block.
TargetGasLimit  = new(big.Int).Set(GenesisGasLimit) // The artificial target

Miners can increase or decrease the block gas limit by a factor of 1/1024 each block, up to a minimum of 5,000. (There is no specified maximum limit.)

However, in Homestead, Geth and the other clients target a block gas limit of 4712388 (1.5 PI million). Clients that use the above values, will "vote" up the gas limit to 4712388 if it is lower.

After Ethereum launched (Frontier), the target gas limit was increased from 5,000 to 3141592 (PI million), as Vitalik Buterin explained:

The basic idea behind gas limits in ethereum is that each block can specify any gas limit within ~0.05% of the previous block, so in the long term it literally is a matter of "voting" on what the gas limit should be. Currently, all clients are set to vote 5000, but with this new update the vote will be changed to equal the "target 150% of EMA with a minimum of 3141592" policy.

In Homestead, the policy was changed to a minimum of 4712388.

  • @PawełBylica You're right, I researched more to improve the answer, and generally no forks needed. – eth Sep 8 '16 at 0:22
  • So is it safe to rely on 4712388 block gas limit when securing smart contract from being stalled? – takeshi Sep 8 '16 at 7:38
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    It depends, if you're deploying a contract that needs 4.5M gas, that's OK because once it's deployed it's done. But if your contract needs such a high gas limit otherwise it gets stuck (example), that would not be recommended and it would be safer to consider other designs. – eth Sep 8 '16 at 8:55
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    @takeshi It is not safe. You can see at ethstats.net that some blocks have the limit exactly 4700000. – Paweł Bylica Sep 8 '16 at 10:10
  • @eth all clear, thank you! – takeshi Sep 8 '16 at 15:06

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