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What are Ethereum Gas Fees & How to Lower Them?

Jon Ganor
Jon Ganor
What are Ethereum Gas Fees & How to Lower Them?
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tl;dr

  • Gas fees in Ethereum refer to the cost required to perform any operation or transaction on the blockchain, denominated in Gwei.

  • Different actions on the Ethereum network have varying gas fee requirements based on their complexity and demand for computational resources.

  • Gas fees are generally lowest during periods of low network congestion, such as weekends, holidays, off-peak hours, and early morning hours in UTC.

  • Leveraging L2 solutions like Arbitrum can reduce gas fees and offer faster and cheaper transactions while maintaining the security of the Ethereum mainnet.

  • Hord has worked to lower gas fees for staking to the lowest among all LSD platforms and has migrated HORD tokens to Arbitrum to further reduce gas fees.

What are Ethereum Gas Fees? 

Gas fees in Ethereum refer to the cost required to perform any operation or transaction on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum operates on a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, where validators add transactions to blocks and confirm them. Validators are rewarded with ETH for their efforts. Gas fees serve as an incentive for validators to include transactions in the blocks they confirm.

Each operation on the Ethereum network consumes a certain amount of computational resources, and the gas fee is a measure of the computational work required to execute that operation. Gas fees are denominated in a unit called "Gwei," which is a subunit of ETH, where 1 Gwei is equal to 0.000000001 ETH.

Users can set their desired gas fee when submitting a transaction, balancing between faster confirmation times and cost. If the gas fee offered is too low, the transaction may experience delays or not get processed at all. If the transaction does not get processed, the gas fee may be lost.

What Affects Ethereum Gas Fees?

Different actions on the Ethereum network have varying gas fee requirements based on the complexity and computational resources they demand. Simple actions like transferring ETH from one address to another usually have lower gas fees compared to more complex interactions with smart contracts. Interacting with a smart contract may involve multiple operations, resulting in higher gas fees.

Furthermore, gas fees can fluctuate depending on network usage at the time of the action. During periods of high network congestion, more users are competing for limited block space, leading to increased gas fees. Conversely, during low network activity, gas fees tend to be lower.

When are Ethereum Gas Fees the Lowest?

Ethereum gas fees are generally at their lowest during periods of low network congestion. These times can include weekends, holidays, and off-peak hours in certain time zones. During weekends and holidays, there is typically reduced trading activity, leading to decreased demand for block space and lower gas fees. Similarly, during off-peak hours, when fewer users are active on the network, gas fees tend to be lower.

Specifically, the early morning hours in UTC often witness the lowest gas fees. During this time, most users are asleep or less active, resulting in reduced competition for block space and consequently lower gas fees.

As an example, at 7:04 AM Pacific Standard Time on August 6, 2023, the average gas price on Ethereum stands at 230 Gwei. However, this value is subject to change based on network activity and demand.

It's essential for users to monitor gas fees and consider conducting transactions during these periods of low network congestion to optimize their costs on the Ethereum network.

How to Lower ETH Gas Fees? 

To lower ETH gas fees, users can take advantage of certain strategies to optimize their transactions' costs on the Ethereum network. As mentioned in the previous response, gas fees are typically lower during times of low network congestion, such as weekends, holidays, off-peak hours, and early morning hours in UTC.

Another effective way to reduce gas fees is to utilize Layer 2 solutions like Arbitrum. L2 scaling solutions aim to alleviate network congestion by processing transactions off-chain or in a more efficient manner. By leveraging L2 networks like Arbitrum, users can enjoy faster and cheaper transactions while still benefiting from the security of the Ethereum mainnet.

Additionally, users can set a lower gas price when submitting transactions. However, it's essential to find a balance, as setting too low a gas price may result in slower processing times or transactions getting stuck in the mempool.

Another strategy involves bundling multiple transactions together in a single batch, commonly known as transaction batching. This approach maximizes the use of available block space, reducing the overall gas cost for multiple actions.

PoS, The Merge and ETH Gas Fees

The Merge and Ethereum's transition to proof-of-stake or PoS have not directly influenced gas prices on the network. The Merge refers to the long-awaited upgrade where Ethereum transitions from its current proof-of-work or PoW consensus mechanism to PoS. In PoW, miners compete to validate transactions, and gas prices are influenced by supply and demand dynamics, network congestion, and the cost of computational resources required to process transactions. 

However, with PoS, validators are chosen to create new blocks and validate transactions based on the amount of cryptocurrency they "stake" as collateral, rather than by competing through computational power. This shift in consensus mechanism does not directly impact gas prices as they are primarily driven by the demand for block space on the Ethereum network.

While the Merge itself does not directly affect gas prices, it is part of a broader effort to improve the scalability and efficiency of the Ethereum network. The upcoming Dencun Hardfork is one such upgrade that may have a positive impact on gas prices. Dencun introduces the "Rollup-Centric Sharding Scheme," a pre-release of Danksharding, which aims to implement sharding technology on Ethereum. 

Sharding is a scaling solution that partitions the network into smaller shards, allowing for parallel transaction processing and increased throughput. By improving the network's capacity, sharding can potentially reduce congestion and competition for block space, leading to lower gas prices.

Arbitrum Vs Ethereum Gas Fees 

The difference in gas fees between Arbitrum and Ethereum can be substantial, making Arbitrum an attractive choice for users seeking cost-effective transactions and faster processing times. However, it's important to note that while Arbitrum offers lower gas fees, it relies on the security and decentralization of the Ethereum mainnet for finalizing transactions.

Both networks have their strengths and use cases. Ethereum remains the primary chain for decentralized applications and is widely adopted, providing high security and robustness. In contrast, Arbitrum's layer-2 solution offers cost efficiency and scalability benefits, making it an appealing choice for users looking to reduce transaction costs and enjoy faster transaction processing.

Gas Fees at Hord

At Hord, minimizing gas fees has been a top priority for the development team. Recognizing the importance of cost-efficient transactions, the developers have worked diligently to optimize gas fee requirements for staking activities. Through careful design and optimization, Hord has achieved the lowest gas fee requirements compared to all other liquid staking derivative platforms.

To further enhance the user experience and reduce transaction costs, Hord took a proactive step by migrating HORD tokens to Arbitrum. As a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, Arbitrum offers significantly lower gas fees while maintaining the same level of security and decentralization as the Ethereum mainnet. This migration empowers Hord users with the benefits of faster and more affordable transactions, ensuring a seamless and cost-effective staking process.

Final Thoughts

The future of gas fees on Ethereum looks promising, especially with the upcoming Dencun upgrade on the horizon. As Ethereum continues to progress and evolve, there is a growing focus on improving the scalability and cost-efficiency of the network. The Dencun upgrade, is set to introduce significant enhancements to the Ethereum protocol, potentially leading to lower gas fees.

One of the core objectives of the Dencun upgrade is to address the issue of high gas fees and improve the overall user experience. The upgrade may include the implementation of sharding, a revolutionary technology that aims to partition the Ethereum blockchain into smaller, interconnected pieces known as shards. Sharding can significantly increase the network's capacity to process transactions in parallel, reducing congestion and, in turn, lowering gas fees during peak usage periods.