DeFi: Clogger of ETH. Good Sign or Bad?

Ethereum and the DeFi space are exploding. Literally. Ethereum’s network utilization has been hovering around 95% since late May. The longest sustained maximum ETH network usage to date.

95/96% ETH Total Network Usage: Source

96.07% is the ETH Network utilization all-time high. I can only assume there are some safety stops that prevent the ETH network from going to 100% usage. There are plenty of EIPs that are in development that should alleviate some ETH network congestion. ETH 2.0 can’t come soon enough.

ETH Gas Prices Historical: Source

Network utilization isn’t the only thing exploding inside ETH’s network – gas prices! Last time we saw gas prices this high, it was in Jan. of 2018. Surely an excellent sign? Perhaps not. Realistically, if we do not see faster implementations of EIPs like 1559, gas prices along with congestion will continue to be an obstacle.

ETH Daily Transaction Count: Source

It seems ETH has an uphill battle whereby usage is outpacing development. We have been promised “ETH 2.0” for a long time. Development has been steady, but Vatelik Buterin really seems to beat around the bush, probably for good reason. Vatelik, along with other developers, must be weary of rushing code implementation. One catastrophic event can destroy the faith in your project.

ETH 2.0 Launch Party

There’s no doubt in my mind ETH developers will deliver a scalable solution. My worry is the timing. What happens if we enter a bullrun and DeFi picks up mainstream adoption, or one of the other many applications built on ETH. Are we really expecting users to pay $20+ gas fees to swap coins just to have their TX fail. Flash backs from late 2017 are flooding my mind.

Closing

I’m hyper bullish on both ETH and DeFi. High network utilization on Ethereum is both good and bad. Good in the sense that more people are adopting & using Ethereum. Bad because it’s expensive and and cannot scale currently. Should a bullrun begin to pick up pace, I expect ETH to remain clogged, as well as insane fees until we get some critical upgrades implemented.

I encourage everyone to go and donate at least $1 DAI here: https://gitcoin.co/grants/946/project-title-eip-1559-community-fund

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