Fee Mechanism

NOTE: This section is a work in progress. Contributions are welcome.

Implementing a fee system enhances Starknet's performance. Without fees, the system risks becoming overwhelmed by numerous transactions, even with optimizations.

Fee Collection

When a transaction occurs on Layer 2 (L2), Starknet collects the corresponding fee using ERC-20 tokens. The transaction submitter pays the fee, and the sequencer receives it.

Fee Calculation

Fee Measurement

Currently, fees are denominated in ETH. To determine the expected fee, multiply the transaction's gas estimate by the gas price:

expected_fee = gas_estimate * gas_price;

Fee Computation

To grasp fee computation, understand these terms:

  • Built-In: These are predefined operations in your code, simplifying common tasks or calculations. The following are built-ins:

    • Cairo Steps: These building blocks in Cairo facilitate various program operations. Essential for running smart contracts and apps on blockchain platforms, the steps used influence a program's cost and efficiency.
    • Pedersen Hashes: A method to convert data into a distinct code, similar to a data fingerprint, ensuring data integrity on blockchains.
    • Range Checks: Safety measures in programs, ensuring numbers or values stay within designated limits to avoid errors.
    • Signature Verifications: These confirm that a digital signature matches the anticipated one, verifying the sender's authenticity.
  • Weight: Indicates the significance or cost of an operation, showing how resource-intensive an action is in the program.


In Cairo, each execution trace is divided into distinct slots dedicated to specific built-in components, influencing fee calculation.

Consider a trace containing the following component limits:

Cairo Steps200,000,000
Pedersen Hashes5,000,000
Signature Verifications1,000,000
Range Checks2,500,000

When a component reaches its maximum, the proof is sent to Layer 1. It's imperative to set these component divisions beforehand as they cannot be adjusted dynamically.

Assuming a transaction utilizes 10,000 Cairo steps and 500 Pedersen hashes, it could accommodate 40,000 such transactions in this trace (given the calculation 20,000,000/500). The gas price becomes 1/40,000 of the proof submission cost. In this instance, the number of Cairo steps isn't the constraining factor, so it isn't factored into our performance estimate.

Typically, the sequencer determines a vector, CairoResourceUsage, for every transaction. This vector accounts for:

  1. The count of Cairo steps.
  2. The application count of each Cairo built-in (like range checks and Pedersen hashes).

The sequencer then pairs this data with the CairoResourceFeeWeights vector, dictating the gas cost of each proof component.

For instance:

If a proof with 20,000,000 Pedersen hashes costs 5 million gas, then the Pedersen built-in has a weight of 0.25 gas per use (calculated as 5,000,000/20,000,000). Sequencers set these weight values based on proof parameters.

The fee is determined by the most restrictive component and is calculated as:

maxk[CairoResourceUsagek * CairoResourceFeeWeightsk]

Where "k" denotes the Cairo resource elements, encompassing step numbers and built-ins. The weightings for these components are:

ComponentGas CostRange
Cairo Step0.01 gwei/gasper step
Pedersen0.32 gwei/gasper application
Poseidon0.32 gwei/gasper application
Range Check0.16 gwei/gasper application
ECDSA20.48 gwei/gasper application
Keccak20.48 gwei/gasper application
Bitwise0.64 gwei/gasper application
EC_OP10.24 gwei/gasper application