Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 45 seconds
Eth Gas Station is a great resource to help you send transactions via the Ethereum blockchain. Gas is the unit used to power the EVM, essentially acting as fuel for the network. Gas is not Ether, but gas has to be used to conduct ether transactions. (We explain this in this video and down below, but if you need more info, check out our Ask an Expert: What is Ethereum Gas and how is it different from Ether?)
EthGasStation allows users to estimate transaction fees. They provide data that shows the network activity on the Ethereum network, and can help you save money in useless fees! So check out our video for the run down, or read about how to use it below!
Today we’re going to go over a tool that will help you send your ERC-20 tokens with ease.
To fully benefit from the website we have to go over a couple concepts about “gas” first. And no; not that kind of gas…
What is Gas?
Gas is the unit used to power the EVM, essentially acting as fuel for the network. Gas makes the Ethereum network ‘go.’ Gas is not Ether, but gas has to be used to conduct ether transactions.
What is the gas price?
The gas price is the quality of fuel you are purchasing. The higher the gas price, the quicker your transaction will be confirmed. However, increasing the gas price is going to result in higher transaction fees. There’s no one “good” gas price, as the conditions of the networks changes depending on how many people are using it. A sufficient gas price today may not have been sufficient yesterday. It changes.
What is the gas limit?
Gas limit is the maximum amount of gas you’re willing to spend on that transaction. If the amount exceeds your specified gas limit, the transaction will fail, and you will have to resend it with a higher gas limit. This isn’t how much gas will be spent on the transaction, but how much you’re willing to spend. It keeps you from paying insane fees.
Just so you know…
Gas price X gas used (out of gas limit) = transaction fee
ETH Gas Station – it’s functions and features
Several ether hodlers use MyEtherWallet (MEW) as their wallet of choice. One note about MEW and gas though, you always have to maintain an ETH balance (albeit small) in order to power any transactions you send using that wallet. This includes all ERC-20 tokens, not just ether.
Heading to the website you see a lot of information on the landing page. Lets go through piece by piece.
The first piece I want you to pay attention to is the drop down in the top right corner. This is going to determine what fiat currency you are going to be using in your calculations on the site. It basically makes it easier for those who use a currency like the Euro versus USD, etc. The default is USD but you can switch this to the Euro, Pound, or Yuan.
So after you pick your fiat currency of choice, you can essentially go through all this data to determine the gas price you want to use.
The first box you see in the header is the average standard transaction fees. Looking at that number, we can figure out how congested the network is at that time, since more congestion equals higher fees. Even at its most congested, bitcoin fees make ether transaction fees look minuscule. I’ve been seeing average fees consistently over $50. I had to use bitcoin for a two payments under $100, and I paid a $15 dollar fee each time I sent that bitcoin. It was like 25% of my transaction, which is ridiculous.
Ether fees are mostly in the cents. While they may be several times more expensive than other currencies, a dollar is definitely an acceptable rate to those that aren’t sending many transactions.
The next box is the average gas price that led to those transaction fees. Basically, it’s the average gas price people on the network are currently using.
The next two boxes are really useful. These are the suggested minimum price for a speedy transaction, and the fee that you can expect to pay if you use that suggested gas price. Obviously, based off of network traffic that suggested gas price is going to change.
These last two boxes on the header shows the median wait time and how many blocks it will take to get your transaction confirmed. Now since ETH shoots for 10 second transaction times, waiting a couple of blocks is not that big of a deal.
So, the goal is to pick the lowest gas price that will still get your transaction confirmed quickly. ETH Gas Station really helps us out with that. They have this handy sliding tool that will show you how quickly your transaction will be confirmed at different gas prices. Something to note, they won’t below the recommended gas minimum on the slider.
The next box you want to pay attention to is minutes it will take for that confirmation in the slider section. This is how long it will take to get your confirmation There is usually a break or specific gas price at which increasing the gas price by maybe one unit can drastically reduce wait times.
Now to take advantage of that, let’s head over the transaction pool tab. Just scroll down and look for the point where gas price drastically decreases confirmation time, and that’s the gas price you should pick for your transaction.
Another tool they offer is a transaction calculator, that simply gives you an estimate of a transaction fee based off of gas price and gas limit. If all that gas is to be used, that’s just a handy tool to use when you’re trying to figure out what you can expect with transaction fees.
The last cool thing I want to go over is the gas burners. These are the accounts that are using the most gas, and some of them are identified. EtherDelta and Cryptokitties was up there before. Others are just major accounts, and it’s always interesting to go into their Etherscan and check out what is in that account — all the tokens. A lot of the big gas burners on the list are exchanges. So if you want to take a peek into the assets and how many tokens and how much money these exchanges actually have, this is where you want to look. Its something cool that kind of highlights the big moves in the network.
So that’s our review and ETH Gas Station! It’s a really handy tool to use when you’re sending and trying to determine gas prices because you can pay less fees! Why not save that money?!
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