In this article, I will give the reader a quick guide to Etherscan. What does Etherscan show? Why are the commissions in the Ethereum network different? How to save on using the Ethereum network? How to interact with the Ether network I will talk about this in more detail in this article.

What’s Wrong with the Ethereum Network: Fees

One of the most popular blockchains today is the Ethereum network. However, every day the fees for transactions in this network are increasing. If a year ago $20 for one transfer was an unthinkable amount, now it is a common practice. Sometimes the cost can reach up to $100 or even more. But how does she appear? And where can I view commission statistics?

An excellent assistant in this is the Etherscan service, which has many functions and useful features that will allow you to use the Ethereum blockchain wisely and save a lot of money on commissions. In this article, we will consider the functionality of the platform from the point of view of monitoring fees in the Ethereum network.

What is Etherscan and what is it for?

In order to tell in more detail about everything related to payment for transactions in the Ethereum network, it is worth briefly mentioning the general functionality of the Etherscan service. This service is a common database of all Ethereum blockchain transactions. Here you can see every transfer of any wallet address. Etherscan is a source of information about the Ethereum blockchain that can be used as an analysis and search for the right information.

In simple words, more experienced users receive information about large transfers and movements of funds across the network, and can find new projects by searching for smart contracts. They analyze the information received and try to capitalize on this knowledge. Etherscan is a huge library where everyone can find the information they need.

Etherscan Guide. Is it possible to find useful information on Etherscan for beginners?

For beginners, Etherscan can also be useful. You can check the status of your online transaction (whether it has been sent or is being processed). You can find it at the address of the wallet and see all transfers, withdrawals and receipts, and perform many other useful actions. However, I will talk about this in one of the following articles.

For now, I propose to focus specifically on commissions in the Ether network and everything connected with them. After all, this topic is applied and extremely useful in everyday use.

Commissions in the Ethereum network. What is Gas and Gwei?

Let’s start with the theoretical part, namely: how commissions work in the Ethereum network and where their cost comes from. There are 2 basic definitions: Gas and Gwei.

Gas is the unit of work that a miner must do to record all transactions in a particular block on the blockchain. One block of transactions includes 4,700,000 Gas. Usually, a simple transfer of funds costs about 21,000 gas. However, now, in order to calculate the cost of one transaction, one more concept must be introduced.

Gwei is the cost per unit of gas. 1 Gwei = 0.000000001 ETH. The cost of the transaction is calculated according to the formula: “cost of gas – Gwei” * “amount of gas used”.

The more the demand for the Ethereum network and for transactions grows, the more the price begins to increase, those same Gwei.

Imagine that there are a huge number of people in the queue for the transfer of funds, and everyone wants their transaction to go faster. Some begin to raise the cost of their transaction in order to bypass the queue and be the first in the block. When this starts to happen everywhere, the network load increases and, accordingly, the price per transaction for an ordinary user increases. And you are left with 2 options: adapt to the network and pay the current large commission, and even increase it, or wait until the hype subsides. 

Practical work with the Ethereum network: checking the price of Gas on Etherscan

Any good instruction, including this guide to Etherscan, should be backed up by practical knowledge. Let’s take a closer look at practice, and then everything will immediately become clear.

1. In order to view the current Gas and Gwei for the Ether network, you need to follow this link on Etherscan to the “gastracker” section.

2. The screenshot below shows the interface, which shows the current network load and the cost of transactions. 3 rectangles in the center show 3 options for conducting transactions: long, medium and fast. Depending on your situation, you can pay less and wait longer (block on the left), or pay more and greatly speed up your transaction (block on the right). An average example is shown in the center.

Also, in each rectangle, we can see how much the commission on the network will now cost in “gway” and dollars, as well as how long “our transaction will be carried out”.

Where can I see the commission on the Ethereum network?Where can I see the commission on the Ethereum network?

3. The gas price history block can also be useful to us. On the presented infographic, you can see how gas changes during the week, as well as evaluate the situation with commissions in general.

Ethereum network fee changeEthereum network fee change

Ethereum Network Surprises: Fee Differences

Now let’s move on to the most interesting: why are the commissions in the Ethereum network different everywhere? Why in the screenshot below, on Etherscan itself, there are as many as 4 options for the cost of a transaction?

Differences in the cost of transactions in the Ethereum networkDifferences in the cost of transactions in the Ethereum network

The arrow under the number “1” in the figure above indicates the approximate cost of a normal transaction on the Ethereum network if you send the Ethereum cryptocurrency itself.

Arrow number “2” points to the price of a normal transaction on the Ethereum network if you send any token that exists on this blockchain (an ERC-20 token). For example, the popular stablecoin USDT. Any token, coin and cryptocurrency that exists on the Ethereum blockchain will “eat up” more fees, as the miner needs to spend more Gas to process the token that exists on the Ethereum network.

The arrow “3” indicates the commission that will be deducted from your account in case of interaction with smart contracts. The screenshot shows an example of Uniswap decentralized exchange. This exchange is the largest and most popular decentralized exchange that operates on its own smart contract. Smart contracts have complex functionality and perform a lot of actions, so they spend more work on the network (gas), respectively, you will need to pay a higher cost of the network commission. Smart contracts come in different complexity, so their commissions may differ.

And finally, the “4” arrow shows the commission fee when adding or withdrawing liquidity on decentralized exchanges. The principle is similar: the work of a smart contract. 

Commission analytics is your first step towards saving money!

This basic guide to Etherscan included a lot of tips. Let’s learn the main lesson and the benefits of the knowledge gained. Now you know how to use the Ethereum network and understand that the commissions in the Ethereum blockchain are different. They depend on the complexity of the work done by the miners in the network. That is why, when you simply transfer funds from wallet to wallet, you will be charged $10-$20. And when your wallet is connected to a fund, a decentralized exchange or an application that uses an automated smart contract for all actions, you will pay several times more money for the same action or transfer.

At the same time, by going to Etherscan, you can now check the current cost of a simple transfer or work with a smart contract in order to understand whether you have enough funds with the current network load, because you understand which field with a commission is responsible for what.

Thus, you can roughly think about when it is better for you to make this or that transfer in order to save money and pay less money for commissions.

However, this method is the simplest and most basic, there are almost no tricks here. In the next article I will talk about the functionality of one of the most popular hot browser wallets Metamask. But there are already ways to “cheat” and automatically reduce your commission