Ethereum use is surging this year, with the value of transactions settled on the network skyrocketing during 2021.
According to research from Messari, Ethereum has settled $926 trillion worth of transactions this quarter so far — 700% more than it processed during the first quarter o 2020.
The network is currently on pace to settle $1.6 trillion in transactions for the first quarter of this year. In the last 12 months, Ethereum has already settled $2.1 trillion in transactions.
If Messari’s $1.6 trillion forecast is accurate, Ethereum’s quarterly settlement value will have increased 1,280% compared with the first quarter of 2020, and more than 5,000% compared with the first quarter o 2019.
Messari researcher Ryan Watkins noted the data counters the prevailing narrative that Ethereum is seeing an exodus of users amid its high gas fees, exclaiming:
“Incredible scale for a technology that critics claimed couldn’t scale.”
Ethereum's recent surge in settlement value can be attributed to explosive growth in the decentralized finance and nonfungible token sector, most of which is based upon Ethereum.
The massive demand on the network has caused gas prices to surge to all-time highs, with many retail traders increasingly getting priced out of using the Ethereum mainnet for smaller transactions.
Average Ethereum transaction fees spiked to record highs of $40 on Tuesday, according to BitInfoCharts, with Ethereum generating $50 million worth of transaction fees in a single day. At the time of writing, Ethereum's fees have retreated to $21 on average.
CryptoFees.info is currently reporting an average daily fee generation of $32 million for Ethereum over the past seven days. Comparatively, Bitcoin has generated just $8 million daily on average over the past week.
Amid the high fees, crypto influencers are urging an accelerated launch of Ethereum 2.0 to alleviate pressure on the congested proof-of-work blockchain.