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Why Is Polygon's Gas Fee So High Today?


The Polygon network, a prominent Ethereum Layer-2, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in daily transactions, causing a significant uptick in gas fees within the last 24 hours.

All-Time High

Daily transactions surged from 2.89 million to an all-time high of 6.1 million between November 14 and November 15, marking the highest since October of the preceding year.

This surge in network activity resulted in a spike in transaction costs, soaring to over 7,000 Gwei before stabilising around at the lowest point at 400 Gwei yesterday.

As of time of publication, gas fees on Polygon have shot back up to 2,000 Gwei.

Transaction expenses, particularly for token swaps, spiked to $5 from the usual rates, subsequently reducing to under $0.50.

This is a stark contrast to the previous fractions of a cent.

Surge in Polygon Due to PRC-20

Active addresses on Polygon's proof-of-stake chain surged by 60% in a week, with speculation surrounding the involvement of numerous "bot" addresses.

The surge is linked to a new token type known as "PRC-20," an Ordinals-inspired standard on Polygon.

Users have flooded the network with PRC-20 tokens, particularly POLS.

This mechanism draws inspiration from Ordinals, a protocol for generating tokens and NFTs on the Bitcoin network.

Unlike Bitcoin's Ordinals however, Polygon's PRC-20s leverage transaction calldata to create tokens or unique NFT-like artifacts embedded within network transactions.

Sunflower Land

This type of surge in gas fees on the Polygon network has not been witnessed since January 2022, where users on Polygon were similiarly frustrated over failed transactions and degraded performance.

The surge then was attributed to Sunflower Farmers, a simple resource-gathering game utilising blockchain transactions for in-game actions.

Even then, gas fees only reached a maximum of 500 Gwei, likely also due to the novelty of the Polygon blockchain at that time.

Sunflower Farmers, now rebranded as Sunflower Land, today continues to receive a notable player base, having over 200,000 players as of November 2023.

The play-to-own game has adopted a hybrid blockchain model, and continues to woo players that are more familiar with the Web2 model.

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