Gas Fees 101: Gas Fees Explained

Gas Fees 101: Gas Fees Explained

Gas Fees explained

With the constantly rising attention on Ethereum, the majority of people are keen on learning more about the network. Before jumping on to the bandwagon of the Ethereum blockchain network, one of the most essential topics. You need to have a comprehensive awareness of Ethereum gas fees, especially if you’re a beginner.

Most of you would instantly start thinking about the possible reasons to pay for gas on a blockchain. Still, gas fees are far from such assumptions. So, here is a complete guide on everything you need to know about gas fees. The most common terms associated with the concept and how they can be calculated.

What Is Gas (Ethereum)?

A gas fee refers to the amount of Ether (ETH) necessary for users to manage their transactions on the Ethereum Blockchain network. With this fee, users can successfully interact with the network, i.e., execute a contract or perform transactions on the Ethereum blockchain platform. 

Gas fees are used for compensating Ethereum miners for their work, energy, and efforts in verifying transactions and securing the network with a robust layer of security to the Ethereum network. 

In addition, gas fees prevent the network from being bogged down by spiteful users who often spam the blockchain network with transactions. It does this by making it too costly for such malicious users. Ethereum gas fees tend to differ, primarily because it has a dynamic formula for calculating it. 

Gas fees are paid in ETH and denominated in gigawei or gwei. The gas’s exact price is determined by the demand for transaction verification, the supply of validators, and the amount of network traffic during the transaction period. The greater the traffic and demand, the greater the fees, and vice versa.

Essential Gas Terms To Understand

The concept of “gas” in Ethereum was introduced for the purpose of rewarding miners for everything they do to maintain and secure the blockchain. 

Since the proof of stake algorithm emerged in September 2022, gas fees became the compensation for taking part in validation and staking ETH. As a result, the more users stake, the more money they can earn. 

Before getting into the concept of gas prices and their significance in a transaction’s lifecycle. There are vital differences between ETH gas terms. Let’s break down these terminologies one by one. 

  • Gas

A transaction unit that characterizes computational effort. It is the fuel that must be bought to get miners to include your transaction in a block.

  • Gas limit

The maximum amount somebody can pay for a transaction to be fulfilled. Typically, a higher gas limit indicates the user believes the transaction will call for more work.

  • Gas price

The amount you’re willing to pay for each gas unit necessary to fulfill a transaction. Simply put, it is the price for each unit of work done and is denominated in Gwei. 

  • Gwei

A functional unit of ETH – 1.0 ETH is equivalent to 1,000,000,000 Gwei. Similarly, 1.0 Gwei equals 0.000000001 ETH.

  • Transaction Fee

The fee associated with the completed transaction (gas price * gas used). The minor who adds the transaction in a block collects it. Transaction fees are similar to the fee paid for a money wire transfer. You pay the service provider for using their network. 

  • Transaction Cost

It is the gas price multiplied by the gas limit. Most transactions also comprise tips, which are included in the gas price. So, the more you pay, the faster your transaction will fall through. Contrariwise, if someone estimates their gas limit on the lower side, they will have a lower priority in the queue. 

How are Gas Fees Calculated?

To get a better understanding of why Ethereum gas fees, it is vital to understand how their calculation is done. Since fees on Ethereum are typically much less than 1 ETH, even though it often does not feel like it, Ethereum incorporates the use of a metric system of denominated units called “wei.” 

Hence, 1 ETH is equivalent to 1 quintillion wei (meaning there are 18 zeros after the number). Gigawei (gwei) is the most prevalent wei denomination representing gas fees. Hence, when you monitor a gas tracker and observe that the average gas for a transaction is 100 gwei, you can expect to pay a standard fee of 0.0000001 ETH for a specific transaction. 


Moreover, if you’ve ever minted a non-fungible token (NFT) or bought one on a secondary market such as OpenSea. You may be considering 100 gwei to be a steal for an NFT transfer since the base fees account for just one fragment of the total fee structure. Ethereum’s London upgrade readjusted the gas fee structures, and now the total fee can be calculated as:

Total fee = Gas unit (limits) * (Base fee + Tip)

  • Gas Limit

As mentioned before, the gas limit refers to the maximum amount you’re willing and able to spend on a given transaction. While you can adjust the amount of gas your transaction will cost, you must do it carefully. 

Different types of interactions within the Ethereum blockchain will need different gas amounts to be fulfilled. On the other hand, the base fee refers to the minimum gas amount needed to add a transaction to the blockchain. 

  • Base Fee

The amount of gas needed for a base fee can be determined by the demand for a given transaction to be added to the Ethereum blockchain, regardless of its type. Since base fees are a demand factor, they’re dynamically adjusted depending on how many users interact within the network in a specified period.

While we are explaining gas fees, another term you will often come across is “priority fee,” a.k.a. tips. These tips are an additional fee you can make to complete your transaction faster. 

  • Tip

Priority fee is mainly known as a tip since it offers an economic incentive for Ethereum miners to confirm your transaction prior to others. When miners verify a given transaction with a priority fee attached, they receive that fee as a tip. 

Since miners can see which transactions consist of tips, they can give more priority to completing transactions with the highest tips attached to earn the highest amount of money they can. You must also know that once you set your gas unit (limit) below the gas amount required to complete your interaction, your transaction will revert.

However, you will not receive your gas fee back as the miner will have already performed the equivalent amount of work to process the transaction. Moreover, miners are paid the fees for doing this even if your transaction does not go through.

What Is Ethereum’s Gas Fee Now?

The transaction fees for Ethereum vary from time to time. Still, they have not changed much since the proof of stake emerged. This particular update had no intention of changing the fees. 


Why Are Ethereum Gas Fees So High?

Despite gas fees effectively incentivizing miners to maintain network security and verify transactions, they’re often looked down upon by users. In fact, gas fees tend to be the most hated part about Ethereum for practically every user. Not only for a general disdain towards it but because these fees can be incredibly costly when the network is congested. 

Ethereum gas fees are primarily based on a simple equation that escalates fees exponentially when there is significant Ethereum network usage. They’re also relatively higher when converting from U.S. dollars, given Ether’s price is high. 

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