How to pay less gas?

How to pay less gas?

January 12, 2022
 min read

In this guide, we'll explain what gas is and how to pay less gas doing blockchain transactions.

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?
  3. How to pay less gas using other chains?

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). You can visit What Is Ethereum? for 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!

How to reduce gas using other chains?

Gas prices are only really a problem on Ethereum L1 vs. other L1 and L2 chains like Solana or Polygon. 

If your goal is to learn about web3, consider doing your transaction on another L1 or L2 chain to pay less gas. For example, you can buy NFTs on Solana from marketplaces such as Solanart, Magic Eden, and Solsea.

If you want to stay in the Ethereum ecosystem, consider a chain like Polygon. Polygon is a sidechain compatible with Ethereum that lets you buy, sell, and mint NFTs for less than $0.01 USD per transaction.

To perform Polygon transactions, you need to bridge ETH to Polygon and get some MATIC (Polygon’s token that can be used to pay for gas). Here’s a step by step guide:

Step 1: Bridge ETH to Polygon on OpenSea

Bridging is just a fancy word for transferring some ETH from Ethereum mainnet to the Polygon sidechain. You can use OpenSea to bridge ETH to Polygon as follows:

  1. Make sure you have some ETH in your wallet.
  2. Visit OpenSea and tap on the wallet icon to connect your wallet.
  3. Tap on the wallet icon again, tap the … next to your ETH, and tap “Bridge to Polygon”
  1. In the pop-up, choose how much ETH you want to bridge and tap “Convert tokens”
  1. You’ll be prompted to sign the transaction in your wallet. Note that you’ll need to pay gas here.
  2. The bridging process usually takes 5-10 minutes. Once successful, you should see Polygon ETH show up in your wallet.

Step 2: Get some MATIC 

You need some MATIC to pay for gas on Polygon.

  1. Make sure you bridged some ETH to Polygon WETH successfully. 
  2. Visit Polygon wallet and tap Swap for gas token on the left nav
  1. Select 1 MATIC or a custom amount and tap Approve.

Step 3: Browse Polygon NFTs

Now that you have Polygon ETH and MATIC, you can visit OpenSea and filter for Polygon NFTs.

We expect that many NFT transactions will move to Ethereum L2 solutions (see What is Ethereum) and other L1 chains (e.g., Solana, Avalanche) in the near future due to lower gas fees and better bridging processes.

Up next: Coming soon

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What is gas?
How to pay less gas on Ethereum?

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