Meme Coins Cause Ethereum Gas Fees Jump: Mixed Views on Network Usability

by | Sep 4, 2023 | News | 0 comments

Gas fees influence the number of people who use a specific network such as Ethereum.

This is the reason most networks strive to keep their transaction fees at a reasonable level.

The Ethereum blockchain is one network that experiences surges in network fees.

In recent days, there has been a sudden jump in Ethereum network fees.

This created mixed feelings among its users and the crypto market in general.

This article covers the causes of the recent Ethereum network fee rise and the possible solutions to that problem.

Recent Spike in Gas Fees on the Ethereum Network

The Ethereum gas fees reached its 10-month all-time-high during the third week of April when it clocked 43.641 Gwei, a level last seen in June 2022.

Generally, the Ethereum network fee was high in 2022, with a peak of 150 Gwei in May.

From that time, it constantly decreased until it stabilized after the Ethereum Merge in September.

There are three key explanations for the recent surge in the Ethereum network fees.

The first reason is the emergence of the meme coin craze driven by tokens such as $TROLL, $APED, $BOBO, and Pepe the Frog.

Incidentally, these were among the top 10 spenders during April.

According to exchange data, PEPE had traded at a price that soared by 1,000% in four days.

Pepe meme coins- Miccom

As a result of the meme coin hype, the average gas price rose from 60.82 Gwei on April 19 to 81.94 Gwei on April 20.

However, during the same period last year, the average gas fee was 44.42 Gwei.

According to Anthony Sassano, an Independent Ethereum educator, the surge in network fees resulted in the Ethereum network generating revenue that was 28 times that of Bitcoin.

He also pointed out that the Layer 2 Ethereum network, Arbitrum racked in more revenue than Bitcoin due to the meme coin hype.

However, according to a software engineer on Twitter by the username @ Cygaar, the other cause of the 73% surge in the gas fees was the increase in demand for XEN, an ERC20 token, that used about “90% of the gas per block for single transactions.”

Notably, the XEN token gas accounts for about 15% of the Ethereum network gas expenses.

The other assumed cause of the increase in the Ethereum gas fees was the activities of a Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) bot responsible for trading meme coins on a large scale.

For instance, this bot called jaredfromsubway.eth spent over 455 ETH (about $950,000) as network cost within that period.

Additionally, in the last two months, it spent 3,720 ETH as network fees when it performed over 180,000 transactions.

Market Reaction to the Increase in Ethereum Gas Fees

The market reacted in mixed ways as some Ethereum proponents viewed the network fee surge as a sign of increased network usability.

These people opined that as more people adopted the network, its gas fees increased, generating more revenue.

However, some analysts have pointed out that the recent increase in the network fees is a result of the activities of a few players.

For example, a Twitter user named @ CryptoPannella said, “The extensive usage you’re talking about is a few thousand users gambling meme coins. I thought (and hoped) eth was supposed to be the future of finance.”

Definitely, the rise in the gas fees burdened the users.

This is because in some cases they paid gas worth more than a hundred dollars per single transaction.

More unfortunately, other individuals paid network fees that were more than the value of their transaction amounts.

That is why one Twitter user ID @ 0xMQQ) said, “Try to buy a ~$20 NFT on eth, and the gas is ~$40. Some ppl say the infra operators deserve to be paid. Sure, but imagine paying Visa a $40 fee for buying a $20 digital good. Infra should be affordable.”

How Yield Farming and Liquidity Farming Drive the Popularity of Memecoins

Yield farming and liquidity mining have contributed to the high demand for meme coins.

Although yield farming and liquidity provision are different they both involve locking a certain quantity of a cryptocurrency as an investment to earn a reward.

Therefore, some individuals have invested in large quantities of meme coins through yield farming and liquidity mining.

The reason is that many meme coins have low values enabling the investors to purchase large quantities.

They invest through liquidity mining and yield farming because they often guarantee them a certain reward within a specific period such as three months.

Effects of High Gas Fees on Users and Developers

High network fees affect the level of participation of users and developers in the network.

Basically, high gas fees mean that users have to pay large sums of money to effect the transactions.

As a result, most of them reduce the number of transactions they perform.

Some of them migrate to other networks such as TRON or Cardano which have low transaction costs.

When Ethereum users use other blockchains there will be a decrease in its trading volume and other activities like NFT minting.

Popular networks people can use – Binance

When the gas fees for the Ethereum network increase the developers have several options.

They may continue to use the network with the hope that its users will keep using it as they believe in its utility.

Alternatively, they can migrate to other blockchains which have lower transaction costs.

Lastly, the developers on the Ethereum blockchain may opt to use Ethereum’s Layer2 blockchains such as Solana and Avalanche.

Possible Solutions to Ethereum’s High Gas Fees

One of the best solutions to reduce the gas fees is for the network to have more layer2 blockchains that compute transactions off the Ethereum blockchain.

Such blockchains will decongest the Ethereum blockchain network, thereby reducing gas fees.

The EIP1559 can also help as it allows the users to determine the amount of gas fee they are willing to pay. Although they are supposed to pay the base fee, they may avoid the tip.


During the third week of April, the gas fees for the Ethereum network increased by more than 73% generating much revenue for the blockchain yet causing much pain among the users.

The increasing demand for meme coins and the activity of a trading bot contributed to the rise in the Ethereum network fees.


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