Ethereum Gas Usage Reaches All-Time High, Transactions Highest in Six Months


Demand for the ethereum network has reached all-time high in at least one measure, the amount of “gas” used per day.

Gas is an abstract measure of the amount of calculations one can perform on the ethereum network. A plain transaction, for example, needs some 21,000 gas units. A smart contract transaction is usually much higher at about 80,000.

Some 46 billion such gas units were used on the 21st of March, up from the previous high of circa 45 billion in August 2018.

Ethereum’s daily gas usage, March 2019.

A more concrete measure might be the number of “plain” transactions per day. Those too have risen to their highest since September.

Some 636,000 transactions were performed on March 19th, up from a low of 380,000 on February 10th.

Such numbers haven’t been seen in many months, suggesting there has been an increase in activity.

Ethereum transactions per day, March 2019.

The above looks very much like eth’s price chart until September. From then onwards, eth’s price continues to fall, but transactions appear to have reached a floor.

Transactions do then fall in February as the difficulty bomb kicked-in, making finding blocks difficult, with average block times rising from the usual circa one block per 15 seconds to at times 28 seconds.

The hardfork upgrade that delayed the difficulty bomb then returns block times to normal, so transactions see a sharp V recovery, rising for the past seven weeks or so as can be seen more clearly from the network growth metric:

Ethereum network growth, March 2019.

This is the number of new addresses created per day. You can see it has gradually fallen from more than 10,000 to reach a low in February of about 2,500. Since then, it has risen to circa 5,000.

Google searches for eth haven’t seen much of a recovery, suggesting the rise might be more due to people already familiar with eth perhaps betting the bottom is in.

It could also be because Google searches might be a lagging indicator, just as it could be due to the reduction of new eth supply last month.

Whatever the reason, spring is bringing some respite to eth, at least for now. Whether that will continue or how it will develop, remains to be seen.

Article updated with an explanation of why transactions probably fell in February. 



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