High Gas Fees: The Ethereum Dilemma for NFT Creators

Not long ago, it seemed that most people in the NFT industry were looking forward to the optimization of the Ethereum network to overcome a major obstacle, namely the high gas cost. Today is different.

Slowly, various trading markets have adopted the migration to side chains as a stopgap measure, and some platforms have completely withdrawn from Ethereum. These measures enable transactions on these platforms to bypass the Ethereum main network, avoiding a gas fee that may be higher than the transaction itself.


As one of the largest NFT trading platforms, OpenSea has a valuation of US$1.5 billion. According to its recent announcement, creators can now mint, buy, and sell NFTs on the Polygon network. OpenSea CEO Devin Finzer said that this is a necessary step for the prosperity of the OpenSea ecosystem.

“The problem now is that if you buy something worth $2, the gas fee you spend is likely to be more expensive than it,” Finzer said. “So users who are not willing to pay a few hundred dollars in advance will not be able to participate. Come, we won’t be able to hold community activities for all, right?”

Other platforms chose to bypass Ethereum together.

One example is that Virtually Human Studios recently completed a $20 million financing led by TCG and a16z for the development and maintenance of its NFT horse racing game Zed Run. If the ponies of Zed Run want to fly all the way, they have to rely on the support of the Matic network.


There is also Pastel, which has just raised US$5 million, and is also an NFT trading platform established on its own blockchain. Anthony Georgiades, COO and co-founder of Pastel, believes that Ethereum is not built for NFTs, so why bother to squeeze it?

“Ethereum is a good computer overall,” Georgiades said. “But the Ethereum network does not support “special purpose applications”, such as NFT.”

Georgiades believes that building Pastel on its own network will enable them to provide better security, such as tracking counterfeit NFTs or fraudulent projects.

“A lot of developers are trying to solve the problem of transaction fees through side chains, or solve the problem of insufficient storage through parachains, etc. But in the end, there are broader questions that need to be answered.”

For some trading platforms of specific projects, “starting from a new start” has proven to be a better solution. Dapper Lab’s NBA TopShot is built on the local network Flow. To some extent, it set off the NFT craze in the spring, and it also achieved a sales record of over 500 million U.S. dollars within a few months.

The sales of Axie Infinity from Mavis Sky are likely to reach 700 million US dollars in the next few weeks, replacing the position of NBA TopShot. And this wave of rise also started with the migration of Axie Infinity from Ethereum to the side chain Ronin.

However, according to experts, the upgrade of Ethereum to the PoS system will more or less improve the situation, but this day may not come so soon.

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