When you’re buying a non-fungible token (NFT) of any kind, whether you’re using your MetaMask wallet or another cryptocurrency wallet, gas fees will be involved. And no, we aren’t talking about the gas you put in your car. Instead, it’s the fuel that drives the transaction.
When we talk about gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain network, it is essentially the required fee, or fuel, needed to complete the transaction. It is the cost of the computational energy required to perform the transaction.
But here’s where gas gets confusing and frustrating for traders and collectors. Gas fees are constantly changing based on supply and demand in the market.
What Are Gas Fees, Why Are They Charged?
On a basic level, gas is the unit that measures the computer energy required to perform a transaction. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that each transaction on the blockchain doesn’t require energy. Unlike Web 2.0, which runs websites on large host servers, blockchain technology (including Ethereum) is decentralized.
Transactions require access to the decentralized computer system network called miners.
Miners are essential to blockchain technology; they secure and verify transactions. But in exchange for providing the advanced and costly computer systems required, as well as the hefty electrical costs needed to run those computers, they charge a fee.
Without gas transaction fees, miners would likely stop processing transactions, which would damage the usability of the blockchain.
How Are MetaMask Gas Fees Calculated?
Gas fees fluctuate with each transaction and don’t change based on the wallet used but are determined by the computer energy needed to complete a transaction of a token or contract. Simply put, the more complex a transaction is, the more computational effort is required, and therefore the more costly the gas fees will be.
A gas rate determined by market demand will be set when a transaction is performed. Gas fees are priced in gwei, a unit of measurement of Ethereum (ETH). Each gwei is 0.000000001 ETH. So if the gas rate is 25 gwei, it equals 0.000000025 ETH.
How much gas is required will depend on the type of transaction. For example, a simple transaction such as sending ETH from one address to another will cost 21,000 units of gas.
However, a more complex transaction, such as minting a new NFT, can require significantly more gas.
The analogy to driving a car works well for gas fees. The further you need to drive a car to get to a destination, the more gas is required. The same concept can be applied to differing NFT transactions.
As you can tell, the MetaMask transfer fees vary widely, and in addition, traders and collectors need to factor in ETH’s constantly changing price to determine each transaction’s cost.
MetaMask Transfer Fee (Service Fee)
In addition to gas fees, MetaMask charges its own service fee of 0.875% on every swap. NFT swapping is the term applied to when an NFT is bought, sold, or traded to another user.
The MetaMask transfer fee to covers the cost of their service and is how MetaMask continues to develop and improve its crypto wallet.