In brief

  • Ethereum miners' revenue from transaction fees has reached nearly $1 per hour, says Glassnode.
  • This coincides with Uniswap, a major DeFi platform, launching its governance token UNI.
  • However, this continues turning Ethereum into a toy only the rich can afford, users and experts worry.

Ethereum miners’ combined revenue has set a new record yet, reaching $938,000 in one hour, according to crypto analytics platform Glassnode.

“Following UniswapProtocol's announcement of the $UNI token today, #Ethereum saw a massive surge in miner fees. Almost $1M USD in fees were spent in a single hour!” the firm tweeted, adding, “This is a new record high (anomalous tx fees earlier this year excluded).”

This new record coincided with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Uniswap introducing its new governance token UNI—and major US crypto exchange Coinbase Pro listing it shortly after.

As the current DeFi and the yield farming craze are continuously kicking into ever-higher gears, experts and users alike are worrying about Ethereum’s usability.

“I know [markets] are up and whatnot, but ethereum usability is absolutely atrocious today,” tweeted Su Zhu, CEO at Three Arrows Capital.

This is because miners are financially incentivized to choose only the transactions with the highest fees to confirm. At the same time, transactions with lower fees are being pushed down the low priority track, inflating a huge backlog of unconfirmed operations.

Additionally, there is a limit to how much Gas—the unit used to measure transaction fees—can be included in one block, further clogging the blockchain.

As Decrypt reported back in December, a report also suggested that DeFi—Ethereum’s “killer app”—could actually destroy the network. And now some decentralized platforms are literally trying to cannibalize each other, launching so-called “Vampire Mining” schemes. It’s all getting rather out of hand.