Polygon gas fees spike 1000% amid Ordinals-inspired token craze

Ethereum

Gas fees on Ethereum layer-2 Polygon (MATIC) surged more than 1,000% to reach a peak of $0.10 as users inundated the network with the minting of Ordinals-inspired tokens dubbed POLS. 

In a Nov. 16 X (formerly Twitter) post Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal shared his surprise at the elevated transaction activity on the network saying the spike could’ve been due to the launch of a new Polygon-based nonfungible token (NFT) collection.

The reason for the uptick in network activity and sudden spike in gas fees seems to be coming mainly from a frenzy of enthusiasm for minting the new POLS token.

Dune Analytics data showed the rush of minting activity for POLS coincided with more than 102 million MATIC tokens — worth $86 million at current prices— being used as gas.

POLS caused more than $86 million of MATIC to be used as gas.

The POLS token is built on a protocol dubbed PRC-20, which operates similarly to the Bitcoin Ordinals-derived BRC-20 token standard.

According to data from Ethereum Virtual Machine data provider EVM, only 8.7% of the total POLS supply has been minted, with just over 18,100 owners claiming the token.

Related: Bitcoin Ordinals see resurgence from Binance listing

At the time of publication, Polygon gas fees have since returned to typical levels, settling at around 882 gwei. Gas fees quantify the amount of computing effort needed to conduct a transaction on a given blockchain, with 1 gwei equal to approximately 0.000000001 MATIC.

Polygon gas fees have since returned to slightly above-average levels. Source: Livdir

The Bitcoin network witnessed a similar, albeit more prolonged, spike in activity in May this year following the release of the Ordinals protocol, which allowed users to mint NFTs directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain.

The ensuing frenzy for Ordinals NFTs and BRC-20 tokens saw Bitcoin fees reach levels not since April 2021, a development that saw more traditionally-minded Bitcoiners such as Samson Mow and Adam Back cast down the NFT protocol and token standard as wasteful.

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