Fallout: Ethereum fees skyrocketed as traders raced to unwind leveraged positions


Ethereum fees surged to document highs amid the recent crypto downturn, with customers paying greater than 2,000 gwei to execute transactions at its peak.

Digital asset analysis agency, Delphi Digital, noted gasoline costs oscillated between 1,500 and 1,700 gwei for roughly one hour as DeFi liquidations drove “gas wars amongst liquidators and arbitrageurs.”

Ethereum gasoline costs amid crypto market crash: Dune Analytics

In the May 19 Daily Gwei newsletter, Ethereum developer Anthony Sassano speculated the charge frenzy was doubtless triggered by on-chain margin traders racing to exit their leveraged positions:

“The price was falling so fast that people were getting scared for their on-chain leveraged positions and were willing to pay anything to get their transaction included in the next Ethereum block (presumably to close their positions).”

Chris Weston of Melbourne-based brokerage Pepperstone additionally emphasised the function of leverage within the crash, estimating that cascading margin calls drove $9.13 billion price of liquidations throughout crypto exchanges in 24 hours.

Alameda Research’s Sam Trabucco additionally famous excessive leverage within the Ethereum markets, criticizing the narrative that Ethereum’s rally was largely fueled by institutional spot shopping for.

“I saw a TON of speculation that the rallies (especially the ETH rallies) were low-leverage and spot-driven, and therefore more organic’ somehow […] This narrative was super wrong,” stated Trabucco.

Crypto luminaries weren’t exempt from the gas crisis, with CoinShares CSO, Meltem Demirors, tweeting about her caught transactions regardless of paying greater than $1,000 in gasoline fees. 

However, some analytics had been in a position to discover a silver lining amid the skyrocketing fees, with Paradigm’s Hasu estimating that Ethereum stakers would have captured “tens to hundreds of millions of dollars” in charge income if EIP-1559 and Proof-of-Stake had been dwell in the course of the crash.