• NFTs accounted for 28% of the ETH gas usage in January.
• The second, third, and fourth most significant shares of gas usage were Defi (8%), ERC20 (8%), and stablecoins (6%), respectively.
• CryptoSlate analysts divided all transactions on the Ethereum (ETH) network into eight categories—Vanilla, ERC20, Stablecoins, DeFi, Bridges, NFTs, MEV Bots, and Others.
According to recent research from CryptoSlate, the NFTs category accounted for 28% of the total gas usage on the Ethereum (ETH) network in January 2021. The analysis divided all transactions on the ETH network into eight distinct categories—Vanilla, ERC20, Stablecoins, DeFi, Bridges, NFTs, MEV Bots, and Others—in order to gain more detailed insights into the gas usage of the network.
The Vanilla category encompassed pure ETH transfers between Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs) issued without calling any contracts. The ERC20 class counted all transactions that call ERC20 contracts, excluding stablecoin transactions. The Stablecoins category represented all fungible tokens that have their value pegged to an off-chain asset either by the issuer or by an algorithm. This category included over 150 stablecoins, with Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Binance USD (BUSD), and DAI (DAI) being the most prominent ones.
The Defi category covered all on-chain financial instruments and protocols implemented as smart contracts. Decentralized exchanges (DEXs) also fell under this category. More than 90 Defi protocols were represented, including Uniswap, Aave, and Compound. The Bridges category consisted of all transactions related to the transfer of assets between different blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The NFTs category included all transactions related to the issuance, transfer, and burning of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The MEV Bots category included all transactions related to miner extractable value (MEV) bots. These bots are able to detect arbitrage opportunities in the Ethereum network and execute transactions to capitalize on them. Finally, the Others category encompassed all transactions that did not fall into any of the other categories.
In terms of the relative share of gas usage, the NFTs category was the largest, accounting for 28% in the first month of the year. The second, third, and fourth categories that occupied the most significant gas usage by share appeared as Defi (8%), ERC20 (8%), and Stablecoins (6%), respectively.
Overall, the research provides a valuable insight into the gas usage of the Ethereum network. It is likely that NFTs will continue to occupy a large share of the network’s gas usage as the industry continues to grow and mature.