Ethereum and Bitcoin victims of record fees, does crypto innovation come at a price?

The Ethereum network is under unprecedented pressure following an explosion in gas fees for registrations over the weekend. These fees reached a record $8.3 million on December 16, mainly dedicated to the generation of unique NFTs on the blockchain.

Explosion of gas fees on Ethereum

Transaction fees on Ethereum and Bitcoin have recently reached new heights, making the use of these networks expensive and complicated for many users.

This situation is caused by the rise of “EVM registrations” and “Bitcoin ordinals”.popular but resource-hungry blockchain innovations.

Blockchains such as Avalanche and Arbitrum One, which are EVM compatible have also seen their gas costs soar. On Avalanche, for example, they even topped the $5.6 million mark on December 16, a record according to Dune Analytics.

Moreover, 73% of recent BNB Chain transactions were dedicated to listings. And the pressure was so great on Arbitrum that it caused a 78-minute outage on December 15.

These figures reveal the high cost of innovation on these networks. As new uses emerge, infrastructures are struggling to keep pace.

Bitcoin also hit by crushing fees

Bitcoin, renowned for its solid infrastructure, has not been spared this wave of stratospheric fees either. Nearly 300,000 transactions are still pending, pushing average fees up to $37 according to some analysts.

Against this backdrop, the use of Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer currency is becoming complex for many users. The network’s historic role is being called into question by some.

This situation raises fundamental questions about the long-term viability of cryptos. Some experts, such as Adam Back, are advocating the accelerated adoption of second-layer (L2) solutions. Others see it as an alarming sign of fragile business models.

Whatever the case, this turning point could mark the beginning of a painful transition. The technical and economic challenges facing Ethereum and the EVM blockchains are undeniable. They will need to strike the right balance between innovation and accessibility, or risk losing interest in the eyes of the general public.