Fees on the Ethereum network have reached an average of $10.20 per transaction as of Sunday, according to data from YCharts. The network's fees went higher on only two occasions in 2020, briefly averaging $12.54 in early September. They again rose to $11.69 near the middle of the same month.
Ethereum network transactors faced high fees on and off last year as a partial result of the decentralized finance, or DeFi, boom, which utilized the blockchain for various lending and yield farming activities. At times, the high fees made it difficult for contributors to participate in DeFi activities.
“#Ethereum gas fees soaring again, basically making #defi unusable,” Crypto YouTuber Lark Davis tweeted on Monday.
The network's traffic tolerance has been an issue for years. Transactors suffered major delays and fees near the height of the last major crypto bull run when a cat-centric blockchain game called CryptoKitties took off in popularity.
Ethereum recently commenced its long-awaited network upgrade journey, called Ethereum 2.0, moving the network over to a proof-of-stake mining algorithm. The upgrade is expected to bring massive scaling to Ethereum, although the process will likely take years to fully play out.