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On ETH Gas Station it says that the standard cost for transfer is ~$0.06 currently but when I send ETH on metamask I could't set the gas limit lower than 21000 which is roughly half dollar (10 times more than what ethgasstation says). Why is there such a big difference?

  • Can anyone please explain why I had to put 42000 gas limit (double of minimum) and 250 GWEI gas price for my transaction to start working. (all previous attempt showed: 'intrinsic gas too low') The transaction actually failed but cost me 0.0105 Ether ($13.61) ??? This is now gone out of my metamask but the coins are still in the wallet and not the exchange i tried sending it to? – J S Jan 10 '18 at 21:06
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I think you're confused between gas limit and gas price.

The gas limit is the maximum amount of gas that can be consumed by your transaction. (21000 is actually the smallest amount of gas that a transaction can use, so you'll never set the limit lower than that.)

The gas price is how much ether you will pay, per gas consumed, for the transaction. The overall cost of the transaction is thus gas consumed * gas price. At the moment ETH Gas Station says a standard gas price is 4 gwei, so that's a good figure to put into MetaMask. At current prices, 21000 * 4 gwei should cost about $0.06 USD.

MetaMask may very well suggest a higher gas price, but you can (and probably should) just change it to be more in line with what ETH Gas Station suggests. Just make sure you're changing the gas price, not the gas limit (or "units" in some UI).

  • Thanks, I see it now. So using the gas price from ethgasstation is a good rule of thumb? How likely will the tx fail if I use that price? – Balázs Sáros Jan 1 '18 at 18:26
  • It's much more likely for a transaction to get stalled for a while than to truly never get confirmed. ETH Gas Station has some tools to calculate the expected wait time at various gas prices. If you're in a hurry or particularly worried about it, there's nothing wrong with setting a slightly higher gas price. Note that MetaMask also supports resubmitting a transaction with a higher gas price if it's taking too long. – user19510 Jan 1 '18 at 19:17

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