The $17.43 per transaction constitutes an all-time high in average Ethereum fees, beating the previous record of $12.54 back in September during the height of decentralized finance mania. As of press time, Ethereum transaction fees have declined significantly, with a median fee of $1.63, based on data from Etherscan, ETH Gas Station and Gas Now.
Yield-chasing on multiple DeFi platforms added to the transaction load of stablecoin transfers, which made the Ethereum network even more actively used than in previous times. As a result, average fees skyrocketed, often to the detriment of some DeFi market participants.
Indeed, Monday’s Ethereum fee spike caused DeFi nonfungible-token project Aavegotchi to postpone its mainnet launch. The project also stated that it might consider an “L2 first” launch, probably on Matic Network.
The launch of Ethereum 2.0 — the network’s upgrade to a proof-of-stake consensus — is expected to improve the blockchain’s scalability and drive down average transaction costs. While the process has already begun, some expect the upgrade to take years to reach full actualization. Some commentators say layer-two scaling solutions are a better bet for combatting rising transaction costs.
Monday’s fee spike also coincided with Ether (ETH) setting a new 24-hour trading volume high above $53 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
The surge in Ether transaction fees and trading volumes comes ahead of the launch of CME ETH futures later this year. Back in 2017, when CME announced its Bitcoin (BTC) futures, BTC price and transaction fees spiked amid expanding interest from investors.
Ether is still about $300 shy of its $1,430 all-time high achieved back on Jan. 8, 2018. The second-ranked crypto by market capitalization is up over 660% in the last year.