Ensuring Ethereum remains a viable ecosystem for fees will be challenging. Integration of layer-two scaling solutions is nearly non-existent. The EIP-2612 proposal may help resolve some of these issues moving forward.
Why EIP-2612 Matters
Given the context of this Ethereum Improvement Proposal, one has to wonder why no one thought about it sooner. It is a very viable concept that can make a very big difference. With Ethereum gas fees spiraling out of control regularly, a solution needs to be found. Having an alternative to layer-two scaling solutions is never a bad thing.
To put this into perspective, the EIP-2612 proposal is both elegant and powerful at the same time. It simply proposes an introduction of secp256l1 signatures for ERC-20 tokens. More specifically, it would allow these tokens to be used to pay for transaction fees, rather than solely relying on Ether.
For example, if one sends YFI, the fees should be paid in YFI. If a transaction is made in Basic Attention Token, using BAT to cover fees seems logical. This has not been possible up until this point. It may never become possible either, depending on whether this proposal gets sufficient support. Proposing such a core change can elevate Ethereum to a new level.
A secondary benefit can be found in how approve and pull operations will no longer require 2 transactions. This may not matter to most users, but it is a significant change regardless. Neither of these changes will affect the ERC-20 standard itself, bar some minor changes. The real impact of EIP-2612 will be felt on the network itself.
What Comes Next?
Proposing these changes is one thing, but getting it implemented is something else entirely. A change like these will make Ether itself less relevant as a tool to pay network fees. In fact, it may even reduce demand for ETH as well, which isn’t necessarily ideal. Rest assured the miners will not be in favor of this change either. They want to keep earning Ether for every block, and rather not dabble with volatile tokens.
That being said, it may be time to extend the current ERC-20 token standard. Making this change would be welcomed by the likes of Tether, as the fees can be paid through its own stablecoin. At the same time, it remains unlikely this will ever see the light of day. It remains an interesting proposal to keep an eye on.