Ethereum Fees Spike as Meme Coin Frenzy Returns; PEPE, HarryPotterObamaSonic10Inu, SPX6900 Pop 40%

The rising gas fees suggest increased network usage.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2023 at 8:56 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 24, 2023 at 8:08 p.m. UTC
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A market-wide recovery led by bitcoin (BTC) briefly crossing $35,000 on Tuesday may have reinvigorated a risk-on sentiment among meme coin traders – who typically bet on tokens with a strong social draw rather than their inherent technology.

Ethereum gas fees spiked from 9 gwei to over 45 gwei in the same period, indicating strong block demand. Gwei is a small unit of ether (ETH) equal to one-billionth of an ETH.

Median gas fees spiked 400% in the past 24 hours. (Dune Analytics)
Median gas fees spiked 400% in the past 24 hours. (Dune Analytics)

Gas refers to the fees Ethereum users pay to ensure their transactions are included in the earliest block by network validators. These validators are incentivized to include transactions that pay the highest fees instead of a first-come-first-serve basis – meaning fees on popular tokens can often run to thousands of dollars.

Some of this year’s most popular meme coins, such as pepecoin (PEPE), zoomed as much as 40% in the past 24 hours, showing signs of an on-chain trading frenzy. Elsewhere, HarryPotterObamaSonic10Inu (which trades with a BITCOIN ticker) rose 39%, while SPX6900 (SPX) jumped as much as 25%.

The tickers of these tokens mimic bitcoin and the U.S. stock index S&P500 but have a combined market capitalization of over $120 million – showing the strong draw that jokes have in some parts of the crypto market.

Historically, speculative mania in non-serious cryptocurrencies has presaged major market tops or bearish reversals in bitcoin, which sits over $34,000 in European morning hours on the back of favorable developments in the proposed spot bitcoin ETF filing in the U.S.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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