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What is Gas in Ethereum?

It powers the Ethereum network; but what is Gas, and how does it work?

Oct 23, 2020

What is gas?

Gas is a term for Ethereum network fees. Every action on Ethereum (whether sending tokens or interacting with a smart contract) requires such a fee. Gas therefore acts like the fuel for the network - hence its name.

What determines how much I need to pay?

Two factors shape how much you'll need to pay for an action: the gas price, and how much gas that action requires (this is known as the gas limit).

Gas prices are determined by supply and demand. The busier the Ethereum network, the higher the gas price.

The amount of gas required depends on the computational complexity of the transaction. The easier, the lower the gas needed.

For example, sending an asset to a friend will cost less gas than buying a Set token. This is because a lot more work is required for the latter.

Who receives the gas fees?

Ethereum miners, who provide the computational power that Ethereum runs on, receive this transaction fee in return for their efforts. This means they're incentivised to start with the highest-paying requests first. So if you want to ensure your transaction has the best chance of being included by them, you have to pay more. Argent helps with this, as explained below.

How does Argent help me with gas?

Argent's aim is to make crypto as simple as possible. As part of this we've tried to eliminate the complexity of gas.

Before you transact in Argent we always provide an estimate of the gas cost. This helps you to know if you want to proceed or not. You can easily choose between three levels for gas: standardfast, and fastest. The prices are automatically updated based on current network conditions.

Each Argent wallet is a smart contract built on Ethereum. This means it requires network fees to create. You will pay for these from your first deposit. Read more.

We will never profit from gas. Our aim is to align smooth user experience, long-term economic sustainability, and incentives to minimize Ethereum network congestion. You can read more about our fair use policy here.

Further reading

1. (Beginner) - District0x on how Gas works

2. (Novice) - Crytptotesters on understanding Fees and Gas

3. (Intermediate) - Eric Conner explains how Gas and the Fees market operate

4. (Advanced) - StackExchange on "What is meant by 'Gas'?"

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