If you are only using Steem and Hive, then you are for sure used to extremely fast transfers costing nothing at all. But, if you are used to transfering Ethereum or other tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, and especially those that has been a part of the DeFi boom, then you are familiar with extreme transfer fees. In fact, I have personally made several transfers of funds and smart contract activities that have costed me 10 USD or more per transaction. That is brutal, considering that one of the brilliant things about cryptocurrencies is the fact that it is supposed to be cheap to transfer funds.
The price of a transfer will vary very much on what you are doing. Simply transfering crypto from one account to another is first of all influenced by the gas price at that given time. The busier the network, the higher the gas fee, meaning that the transfer itself will cost more.
If you, in addition, will do a transfer that will transact with smart contracts and get actions done, then the price will go up even more, depending to the complexity of the smart contract interaction.
No matter what, the higher the gas fee required to get your transaction through, the higher the cost. So, what is the conclusion? Transfer funds and interact with smart contracts when the gas fees are lower. But, how can you do that?
How to transfer funds when the gas prices are low?
There are several websites showing the actual gas prices. I personally like to use https://ethgasstation.info/. For example, currently the recommended gas price is 148. That is a brutal fee.
When you transfer funds, you can decide how much gas you want to pay (gwei), so the recommended above is 148 gwei if you want your transfer to happy quickly. I remember a few years ago, as I wanted to take part in an ICO, I set the GWEI to 21 (which was extreme by then). Today, if you ever see a recommended gas fee of 21, you should consider yourself lucky and transfer immediately.
So, what can you do to transfer funds when it is cheap?
- You can just lower the gas fee, and hopefully, the transfer will go through when the gas fees go down. However, it might happen that the transaction will be canceled, and you will then lose in part the transaction fee. It is also important to know that if you start a transfer, no other transfer can be processed until the first transaction in line will take place. In other words, if you start a transfer and set the GWEI to 40, and later start a second transaction with 100 as GWEI, the second transaction will not be processed before the first has gone through (or been canceled).
- Use https://ethgas.watch/ and ask to receive email notifications when the gas fees reach certain limits. This is a brilliant and free tool, and it will help you be alerted when the gas prices are down. It is almost to be considered with receiving alerts when the gas prices for your car have gone down, meaning that you should fill the tank of your car at that time. So, when you receive an alert, that is the ideal time for transfering Ethereum and other tokens using the blockchain, and also to interact with all the contracts in the DeFi universe!
These were just some advice from me. I have already set up some gas watch alerts myself, and I hope this little article can be of inspiration and help to others. But to be honest, it would be great if it would be just as fast and cheap to transfer Ethereum and other tokens in the Ethereum network as it is with Steem and Hive! :)