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Are cross-chains really cheaper?

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Written by   9
1 month ago

You’re probably planning on ditching our beloved ethereum blockchain for one of the many cross chain platforms. To be fair, I wouldn’t blame you…not after paying $30 to have my transaction confirmed on UNISWAP! Despite efforts from developers to lower ethereum blockchain transaction fees, it is still relatively costly; even when compared to mainstream financial institutions. Well, that’s actually the least problem you’ll need to worry about when using the technologically endowed smart contract originator – slow transaction speed and failed transactions. Cryptocurrency investors will happily bid good bye to Vitalik’s brain child if they had a truly better option.

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I just provided liquidity for FTM/FUSDT pair on SushiSwap, if you are wondering how much fee I paid for this transaction; it’s NOTHING! Alright, I’ll have to be frank; I paid a fee of 0.00016FTM ($0.00024) to provide liquidity on sushiswap using Fantom’s opera chain. Relative to Defi on any other blockchain, the fee above is absolutely free, and yes, it is! Projects such as Fantom, Avalanche, polygon and Binance’s smart contract platform – Binance smart chain, have seen incredible price discovery moves following optimistic reception of their solutions by the cryptocurrency community. Posting face-melting gains, these projects have soared up the charts as cryptocurrency enthusiasts seek better alternatives to ethereum’s technology.

Cross-chains are literal copies of the ethereum blockchain with certain modifications and interoperability abilities. Optimizations of cross-chains make them incredibly fast and sometimes instant! In contrast, ethereum seems stuck in its ways; sluggish, expensive, rowdy and inefficient, the exact opposite of the blockchain that won our hearts years ago. Cross-chain projects capitalize on these shortcomings to offer cryptocurrency enthusiasts everything they are missing on the ethereum blockchain while giving them the same impression as the ethereum blockchain.

With seconds between initiation and execution of operations on cross-chains, they are unarguably faster than ethereum blockchain; but are they really cheaper?

Alright, you’ll think this question is dumb, but the (fantom) transfer transaction on fantom cross-chain in the screenshot below costs approximately 0.001FTM;

The ethereum transfer on ethereum blockchain in the screenshot below also cost approximately 0.001ETH. Déjà vu?

Once again, this still sound dumb, 0.001FTM is worth a measly 0.0014$ while 0.001ETH is worth a whooping $3.5. Flashback to a year ago when ethereum sold for ten times less; this fee would be ten times lesser and 0.35$ isn’t ‘so expensive’. Might still sound dumb but helps a lot when you consider that approximately same amount is paid for a swap transaction on Binance smart chain. That being said, is ethereum’s expensiveness justified when considering the dollar coast and not really the token cost(?)

If there’s anything to pick from the instance, it is the fact that ethereum blockchain suffers basically from its own success. Unarguably the most innovative blockchain and the most used blockchain despite the growth of modified copies of its smart contract technology. Trading above $3,000; ethereum has seen incredible growth over the past year, scoring two times more price growth than the alpha cryptocurrency – bitcoin. The recorded shoot in price results from the inability of the blockchain to modify its charges relative to the value of the ether coin.

But fact is, ethereum blockchain hasn’t done badly in terms lowering charges to meet the price hikes. The screen shot below shows the charge for a transaction when ethereum was worth way less.

High fees and the sluggishness experienced when using the ethereum blockchain is in fact caused by the high number of transactions which the blockchain has to execute in a second. No doubt, ethereum has scalability issues, its inability to vary some parameters to meet up with rising use pressure is the architect of every issue users complain about.

Oh snap, I’m a known ethereum lover and my love for it might have blinded me a bit…lol. The Fantom blockchain transaction fee shared earlier was actually paid for an instant transaction. In plain words, the transaction was confirmed immediately. In comparison, the ethereum transaction took over five minutes to confirm despite selecting a standard gas fee plan. A higher fee would have hastened the transaction, but that would still be way short of Fantom’s speed.

The token transfer transaction below on polygon cross chain cost about 0.0002MATIC

Another token transaction on Binance smart chain is shown below with a way lesser cost than a similar transaction on ethereum.

Fact is, cross-chains are not only faster than ethereum blockchain, they actually cheaper too; dollar and token cost considered. Ethereum’s poor scalability is getting the better of it, tough one to admit! Moves to put this in order haven’t really worked out so well and we might actually have to wait till serenity.

Ethereum killers? Well, lol…the ‘ethereum killer’ phrase probably came to life when the second smart contract blockchain project released their white paper; not sure if this is true, but this phrase is as old as possible. Is ethereum simply reaping the fruits of being the first to market or is it simply ‘irreplaceable’? the later is actually the case.

Despite the issues plaguing the ethereum blockchain, it has continued to be the pace setter in blockchain innovation, more than the much glorified bitcoin blockchain; Yeah, that’s without arguments. These trailblazing moves by ethereum blockchain and its developers has continued and other projects appears to be playing ‘follow up’. Ethereum first, then others. Even bitcoin blockchain developers seemsto be taking some initiatives from ethereum blockchain and the real tech world is actually more impressed by ethereum than bitcoin.

Bitcoin might win the race for adoption as a payment technology (its only relevant use), but ethereum’s technology is already penetrating the most important mainstream sectors. Regardless, ethereum developers might have to look away now; cross chains are faster and cheaper…but we might have to wait for much longer before we get a proper ‘ethereum killer’.


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