Less than a week after Ethereum passed a hard fork that transformed its fee system, the cost of sending and receiving cryptocurrencies over the network reached the highest level in three months.
When the update was activated last Thursday (5), fees were around US$14. This Wednesday (11), the average cost to process a transaction rose to US$21, a 50% increase in six days, according to BitInfoCharts data.
This is the highest price seen since May 22, when rates hit $22. Since August began, using the network has gotten 162% more expensive.
The 22% appreciation that the ETH accumulates throughout the week does not fail to influence the increase in rates in dollars. However, gas rates measured in gwei follow the same upward pattern. This Wednesday, gas hit 65.2 gwei for the first time in nearly two months of decline, according to data from YCharts.
The EIP-1559 improvement included in last week’s Ethereum hard fork caused all ether used to fund transactions to be burned rather than going to the miners.
Since then, an algorithm is responsible for regulating the price of the base rate according to market activity, increasing the gas when the movement increases and decreasing when it is calmer.
Although the upgrade has emerged as a way to solve the rate problem and make it less volatile, network costs still skyrocket when activity grows. After all, Ethereum can still only process a limited number of transactions at a time.
NFTs move the network
The spike in non-fungible token (NFT) trades may be boosting Ethereum rates. Etherscan data shows that OpenSea, one of the top NFT markets today, is responsible for paying 14% of all network fees in the last 24 hours. In fact, the platform broke a record on Sunday (11), reaching a historic volume of US$ 78 million, according to Dune Analytics.
At this pace, Open Sea left behind Uniswap, the largest decentralized exchange in the industry that until then was responsible for the largest consumption of fees on the Ethereum network.