For the first time ever, demand for the ethereum network has led to the aggregate collection of more fees than bitcoin.
According to Messari, $207,000 was paid in total for the usage of the ethereum network in the past 24 hours. While for bitcoin it was $180,000.
That’s while the most common fee paid for ethereum was lower at $0.16 per transaction, while for bitcoin it was $0.20.
As can be seen above, other networks are not even in play. The third network to command most fees is Litecoin at less than $1,000. BCH is at just $150.
Neither of those two are used much, while ethereum and bitcoin are at full capacity both running at the equivalent of about 1MB per ten minutes.
Ethereum is trying to increase its capacity by 25%, with this done through a simple miners’ vote.
One of the biggest miner, Ethermine, stated they were targeting a 10 million gas limit, but as can be seen in the featured image above, it currently stands at 8.7 million gas units, up from about 8 million but at a fairly slow rate.
That may be because some miners, like F2Pool, are voting up and down somewhat randomly, with an Ethermine spokesperson publicly stating:
“They are most likely using Parity with default settings. Parity targets a gas limit of 8M by default but will start to vote it up to 10M in case of blocks getting full.”
Ethermine itself said, prior to announcing they were to raise the gas limit following some public pressure, that they were just using the defaults, so they hadn’t gotten around to changing them.
Meaning other smaller miners are probably likewise just using defaults and might perhaps not feel comfortable changing them as they may well not know how or they may have customized node clients.
Arguably, therefore, devs should perhaps just release a new client with new defaults, but most miners are now voting up and capacity is increasing.
Fees are increasing too. EthGasStation estimates them at $0.14 for a simple eth transaction. Token based transactions usually cost around double that, while smart contract interacting transactions can cost even more – perhaps as high s $1 or $2 – depending on the nature of the interaction.
Part of the reason fees are rising is because a couple of “culprits” seem to be taking far too much gas.
The top user, for example, is some sort of gambling dividend sharing “project” called fairwin.me.
The second one is Tether of course, down to 10% now from a brief 50% a few days ago.
Then there are plenty of others. We can see even Cryptokitties are attracting some usage, with this ranking constantly changing.
To satisfy this demand, protocol efficiencies keep being developed, with the upcoming Istanbul hardfork better named as the Gas Upgrade because it mainly includes certain improvements to gas calculations and the space needed per gas unit.
Once that goes live, it may be safer to increase the limit further, with all this giving some breathing room until sharding which is estimated now in not that much more than a year.