Blockchain Networks Face Unprecedented Surge in Transaction Fees Amidst EVM Inscription Boom


  • The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) ecosystem witnessed a significant rise in transaction fees, driven by growing interest in EVM inscriptions.
  • Gas fees reached record highs, with Dune Analytics reporting costs of $8.3 million on December 16, predominantly in Avalanche and Arbitrum One networks.
  • Arbitrum One faced a 78-minute outage, illustrating the strain of increased inscription activity on blockchain infrastructures.

The digital landscape of blockchain technology recently experienced a seismic shift, particularly in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) ecosystem, where a significant uptick in transaction fees was observed. This phenomenon, largely driven by the rapidly growing interest in EVM inscriptions, marked a notable milestone in blockchain activity over the past weekend.

The rise in EVM chain activities led to a record-breaking increase in gas fees, with figures reaching a new zenith. According to the latest insights from Dune Analytics, the cost of inscriptions escalated to a staggering $8.3 million on December 16. Among the networks, Avalanche witnessed the heftiest gas expenses, accounting for more than $5.6 million that day. Not far behind, Arbitrum One recorded around $2.1 million in gas fees due to inscription activities. 

This trend transcended the Ethereum ecosystem, impacting the Bitcoin network as well. The surge in Bitcoin inscriptions led to a significant demand for block space, resulting in an extensive queue of almost 280,000 unconfirmed transactions. The heightened activity pushed Bitcoin transaction fees to a peak of $37, presenting a challenge for smaller, peer-to-peer transactions on the network.

The heightened inscription activity has been challenging. For instance, the Arbitrum One network grappled with a 78-minute outage on December 15, highlighting the stress these activities can place on blockchain infrastructures.

Amid these developments, EVM inscriptions are gaining traction, similar to the Ordinals on the Bitcoin network. These inscriptions involve embedding unique information within transaction call data to create distinct, on-chain, nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The interest in this area is palpable, evidenced by the Bitcoin Frogs Ordinals collection’s market capitalization soaring to $182 million.

Industry veterans, including Bitcoin pioneer Adam Back, view these developments as a vital push towards innovation in blockchain technologies, especially in layer-2 solutions. This sentiment is mirrored within the blockchain community, with enthusiasts and developers exploring new applications and capabilities of these platforms.

The recent events in the blockchain sector underscore a pivotal evolution, with EVM inscriptions at the forefront. This movement highlights the escalating fascination with NFTs and digital collectibles and emphasizes the necessity for scalable and robust network solutions to cater to the increasing demand. As blockchain technology evolves, it paves the way for the next chapter of digital innovation and exploration.