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How to pay less gas?

How to pay less gas?

April 13, 2023
 min read

In this guide, we'll explain what gas is and how to pay less gas on Ethereum.

By: Peter

Blockchain transactions require gas (e.g., transaction fees). In this guide, we’ll explain:

  1. What is gas?
  2. How to pay less gas on Ethereum?

What is gas?

Gas is the amount of crypto that's paid to nodes on the blockchain to process a transaction. 

For Ethereum, gas is measured in gwei (1 gwei = 0.000000001 ether). Visit What Is Ethereum? if you need a recap on how Ethereum works.

How much gas you pay depends on:

  1. Network congestion: Gas is higher if many people are trying to get their transactions in.
  2. Transaction type: Gas is higher if your transaction is complex (e.g., minting an NFT vs. sending crypto to another wallet).

Ethereum is not the only blockchain with gas fees, it’s just the most expensive.

How to pay less gas on Ethereum?

The trade-off to paying less gas on Ethereum is longer transaction times. If you’re OK with that, here are 3 ways to pay less gas:

1. Wait for lower gas prices

Gas prices are usually lowest on the weekends between 9 PM and 1 AM PST when America is getting ready for bed and Europe is just waking up.

You can visit Etherscan’s gas tracker to check current and historical gas prices:

2. Set a max gas fee

On Metamask, you can set your gas fee to “Low” before confirming a transaction. If you want to save even more gas, click on Advanced Options. In this tab, you can set the max fee to slightly above the 7 day lowest historical gas price from Etherscan chart.

Setting a low max gas fee means that your transaction might take a full day to process. You can always check the transaction status in Metamask’s Activity tab or on Etherscan.

3. Cancel a transaction

You can cancel a pending transaction if you change your mind or want to wait for lower gas fees. The easiest way to do this is to tap “Cancel” in Metamask next to a transaction.

However, if this doesn’t work, you can cancel the transaction in an even more manual way:

  1. Enable Custom Nonce in advanced settings of your MetaMask wallet.
  2. Send 0 ETH to yourself with the same custom nonce number as your last transaction.

Yes, we know this feels like configuring a dial-up modem. Hopefully wallet UX improves soon!

Gas prices are only really a problem on Ethereum L1 vs. L2 and other L1 chains like Polygon and Solana. Let's cover how to use L2 chains next.

Up next: How to use L2 chains?

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