The average gas fee — transaction fee — on the Ethereum network has cooled substantially in the first week of June after reaching a multimonth high in May, owing to the memecoin frenzy and much maximal extractable value (MEV) bot activities.
The average gas fee has decreased to $7.34, an almost one-third drop from last month’s high of $20. In terms of gwei — a denomination of Ether (ETH $1,867) that represents one-billionth of one ETH — the daily median gas price has decreased to 24 gwei from a peak of almost 140 gwei last month, according to Dune Analytics.
Average gas fees on Ethereum in the past six months. Source: Dune Analytics
The memecoin frenzy started in late April and took center stage in May, leading to multiple new memecoins hitting the markets, such as Aped (APED), Bobo Coin (BOBO) and others. The dominance of memecoins in network activity was so high that it created an unusual shift in the top 10 gas-burning altcoins. Instead of ETH, Wrapped Ether (WETH), or Tether (USDT $1.00) , memecoins such as Troll (TROLL), APED and BOBO became the top 10 spenders.
Another prominent reason for the rise in the Ethereum gas fees was the surging popularity of memecoins on decentralized platforms, with mainstream centralized exchanges taking longer to list them.
May was not just about the Ethereum memecoin frenzy; Bitcoin Ordinals also gained significant popularity. Ordinals enable decentralized storage of digital art on the Bitcoin blockchain. As a result, the Bitcoin network registered many new memecoins, with Pepecoin (PEPE) achieving a billion-dollar market capitalization.
Ordinals were introduced in January, and by the end of May, the number of Ordinal inscriptions on the Bitcoin blockchain had surpassed 10 million. Total fees paid for Ordinals inscriptions rose 700% in May to currently sit at 1,639 Bitcoin (BTC $26,753).
Total Ordinals inscriptions on the Bitcoin network. Source: Dune Analytics
With the memecoin frenzy dying down, Ethereum gas fees have cooled, and Ordinals inscriptions have also decreased significantly.