The number of daily transactions on the Ethereum network is approaching very high levels, amidst the increase in stablecoins and DeFi tokens, and with some miners trying to spam the network.
Daily usage of the Ethereum recently shot up to 1.1 million transactions, a total not seen since its all-time record of 1.35 million transactions per day in early 2018.
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This increase is accompanied by unusual behaviour on the part of the miners. According to Trustnodes, Ethermine’s mining pool made over 13,000 transactions in 24 hours that were 0.05 ETH (about $11.70) or less. Miners such as SparkPool and Nanopool were also responsible for saturating the network with small transactions, albeit in smaller bursts.
Together, the mining pools have issued tens of thousands of small transactions every day totaling millions of additional transactions.
The last time spam was attempted at the Ethereum was in September 2016, when Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks targeted the network with excessive transactions, eventually forcing it to execute an aggressive move designed to increase the cost of GAS.
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The crypto holders on Reddit quickly speculated on the events. User Njoiyt said that the mining pools could be „purposefully clogging up the network to increase the rates they pay themselves“.
USDT and DeFi make their presence felt
Cointelegraph reported that stablecoins like Tether (USDT) use the most gas on the network, along with the activity of DeFi Dapps like Uniswap and Kyber Network.
Last week, Bitcoin Billionaire miners voted to increase the limit on gas on the network from 10 million to 12.5 million, which will allow more transactions to be processed per second, effectively reducing congestion.
Although the expansion has already begun with the gas limit at over 11.5 million at the time of this article, it appears that it was not enough to meet the increased demand on the network.
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Network congestion stops money laundering
One surprising benefit of the increased congestion was to curb the scammers. Cointelegraph reported today that network congestion had effectively prevented some of the $2.9 billion that was stolen using South Korea’s PlusToken wallet and exchange provider from being quickly laundered.