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I tried to set a gas price of 3 gwei for interacting with a smart contract. Now the transaction is pending for 48+ hours.

  • If the blocks aren't full, why dont the miners pick it up?
  • I can bump the fee up, but when does it auto cancel itself and what do I lose?
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Since EIP 1559 was implemented on Ethereum Mainnet miners can't include a transaction that has a max_fee_per_gas or gas_price that is lower than the base_fee required by all transactions. The base_fee required fluctuates based on how full blocks are, looking at historical data shows us that it doesn't typically fluctuate lower than about 32 gwei.

The previous answer about miners dropping low gas transactions would've been true pre-1559, but is inaccurate post-1559 (London Hard Fork) which took place Aug 5th 2021.

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    Oh, didn't even know that. Thanks a lot for the heads-up - you could've also commented on my answer, now I just accidentally noticed this. Will modify my answer Oct 27 '21 at 5:28
  • Is it true the gas fees paid is burned and miners don't get to keep any of it? Oct 27 '21 at 16:25
  • Yes, the base fee portion is burned. If there is any remaining from the max_fee_per_gas after the base fee has been taken out then a miner will get any remaining gas (if legacy transaction type is used) or some amount up to the max_priority_fee_per_gas. If your wallet has implemented 1559 transactions (i.e. metamask, Coinbase wallet) then the max_priority_fee_per_gas is typically set at 2-5 gwei. So yeah it really puts a damper on what miners can make in gas fees. Oct 28 '21 at 6:16
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EDIT: The following answer is only partially correct nowadays - check the other answer for more details. Miner may still choose to not include transactions they don't want to include, but in this particular case they couldn't include it even if they wanted to.

It's sometimes more profitable for miners to leave a block not full.

If a miner includes your transaction in his block, it means he has to validate and execute it, which takes a little bit of time. Using that time for your transaction means he gets to the mining puzzle later. Which may result in someone else solving the puzzle before him, so he loses the block reward (or only gets the uncle reward).

So including a low paying transaction is probably not worth the risk for the miners.

Nodes drop transaction when their mempool (buffer) gets full. Probably they drop the ones with the lowest fees, since those are less likely to get mined anyway. My guess is that your transaction has gas price high enough that it doesn't get dropped, but low enough that it doesn't get mined. When (if) the transaction gets dropped, it's like you had never sent the transaction - you don't lose anything, besides time.

In the end, this is all speculation, and it all depends on each node client settings.

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  • Sounds like a mining cartel to me to keep things congested for whatever reason. What are some solutions to stop this high gas price. It makes the entire network unusable for making small transactions unless your rich. Aug 26 '21 at 15:03
  • Layer 2 solutions. Please post a new question (or browse old ones) if you have further questions Aug 26 '21 at 18:21

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