Why Is Gas?!

When sending a transaction on the Ethereum network you may be startled by the cost to send said transaction, especially if you are returning from a cryptocurrency hiatus.

Why Are the Gas Fees so Damn High?!

The price of Ether rose from $100 to $1500 in ~6 months and your transaction fee is paid with Ether. A transaction that previously cost $0.42 might cost $7.14 today.

The network is increasingly busy and the transaction fee determines who's transaction is mined first.

There is stuff to do on the Ethereum network! It's not just ICO's or staring at your assets anymore - you can do DeFi and farm. Some of this stuff can be very profitable for traders or arbitragers who are racing with other traders or arbitragers for these profits. For example, if arbitrager 1 can make $10,000 by liquidating an undercollateralized position, they will gladly spend $1000 or $2000 or $5000 to send that transaction faster than arbitrager 2. You are also competing with this activity whenever you send a transaction.

So What Does This Mean?

Well, it can be expensive to send and frustrating once you've sent. Unfortunately for the time being, this is sort of the new normal.

When there are hundreds of thousands of transactions waiting to be mined, it often takes longer for transactions to be confirmed and it also may take longer for transactions to propagate across the network. This means your transaction may show as PENDING on MyCrypto or Etherscan, or it may show as PENDING on MyCrypto and not be found by Etherscan. This can be incredibly frustrating.

Here are some things you can do if you are experiencing issues with pending or stuck transactions relating to gas.

  1. Send with higher gas price next time
  2. Go outside, look at trees, wait
  3. Cancel or replace the transaction
  4. Learn about gas
  5. Learn about nonce
  6. Learn about alternative fee markets
  7. Call an old friend and have a chat about the good ol' days before COVID and 500 GWEI gas prices
  8. Hot take it on Twitter and/or ask Vitalik to speed it up

Make sure you understand why your transaction(s) aren't being mined—is it just a low gas price or do you have a low-nonce, low-gas price transaction preventing more recent transactions from being confirmed?