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It's 2020 September 3. Fees to send 20 USDC to someone is about $10-15 worth of gas fees. How can I minimize the gas fees when using metamask? And is it true that if I set the gas fee too low, I would lose my ETH on a failed USDC transaction?

Last time this happened was with cryptokitties a few years ago. How come nothing was revamped to foresee a potential gas fee issue all these years on layer 1? What solutions are there for layer 1?

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  • Your best option is to trade ETH on a market like uniswap or exchange (if its already in there) and sent money through another token.
    – alper
    Jan 27 at 17:50
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  • How can I minimize the gas fees when using metamask?

It is possible to set custom gas fees when sending a transaction with Metamask (see here : https://metamask.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360015488771-How-to-Adjust-Gas-Price-and-Gas-Limit-). The Ethereum network is currently overloaded and the consequence is a higher gas cost. You can see the average gas price here : https://ethgasstation.info/.

  • And is it true that if I set the gas fee too low, I would lose my ETH on a failed USDC transaction?

No, your transaction, in the worst case, will not be mined and get stucked. In this situation you have to send a new transaction with the same nonce and a significantly higher gas price (or just wait). Metamask does it for you with the "Speed Up" option. Note that you can't lose funds involved in a failed transaction as the transaction will be reverted by the network. However you will lose the gas paid to process the transaction.

  • How come nothing was revamped to foresee a potential gas fee issue all these years on layer 1? What solutions are there for layer 1?

Gas fees are a real challenge and some solutions are under reviewed for the Ethereum 1.0 chain. One of them is the EIP-1559. This EIP has the objective to change the transaction pricing model by implementing a base fee per gas managed by the network. For more informations you can check the github page : https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/blob/master/EIPS/eip-1559.md. Other solutions include sidechains which are a "layer 2" scaling solution enabling to lighten the main network.

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    An excellent answer. I'd also add that Eth2.0 will probably result in lower gas fees, once it becomes reality. Sep 3 '20 at 17:31
  • So I will lose my $15 gas fee if I cancel the transaction? Sep 3 '20 at 20:22
  • By "cancelling" a tx we mean replacing it by a new one with the same nonce and higher gas price. So you have to pay fees for this second tx. However, you will not pay the fees of the first "cancelled" tx, as it will not be processed by the network.
    – clement
    Jul 31 at 15:59

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