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Ethereum fees are skyrocketing — But traders have alternatives

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With the rapid growth of decentralized finance, upcoming scaling developments on Ethereum 2.0, and increased crypto allocation in the portfolios of institutions, the price of Ether (ETH) is rapidly ascending. In fact, we’ve already seen ETH break the $2,000 barrier for the first time, marking a brand-new all-time high. All this action may be bullish for ETH holders and DeFi investors, but for smaller DApp developers and other users on the network — such as traders using ERC-20-based stablecoins — it’s quickly pricing them out.

That’s because the cost of using any stablecoin depends on the blockchain network on which it functions. And, once again, the Ethereum blockchain is finding itself plagued with network congestion and rising fees. On Feb. 23, the average transaction fee on Ethereum soared past $39 for the first time, making transacting with ERC-20 tokens like the Ethereum-based versions of Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) expensive and even prohibitive.

While Eth2 with its transition to proof-of-stake may hold the answers in the long term, traders are currently left frustrated. The good news is that there are alternatives to allow them to avoid price volatility by holding their value in stablecoins — without paying hefty network fees.

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Related: DeFi users shouldn’t wait idly for Eth2 to hit its stride

USDT and USDC on the Algorand blockchain

As a public and open-source smart contract blockchain using a PoS consensus algorithm, Algorand provides the scalability and speed that Ethereum is currently lacking. By running USDT and USDC on Algorand, users can transact in their preferred U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin at a fraction of the cost and time.

The technology behind the Algorand blockchain allows for high throughput, meaning more transactions can be processed per second than on other comparable blockchains, such as Ethereum. In fact, Algorand can process more than 1,000 transactions per second, compared to Ethereum’s TPS of fewer than 15.

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This means that transactions on Algorand are settled almost instantly — in less than five seconds. And, rather than having to endure a hefty $39 average, fees can be as low as $0.001 per transaction — regardless of the transaction size.

Using the Algorand Standard Asset protocol for creating new tokens, developers can launch new ASA tokens to be used in a decentralized application — or use it as a way of transferring existing assets to a faster alternative blockchain.

With a market cap now comfortably above $35 billion, Tether’s USDT is the most popular stablecoin in existence and the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. USDT is currently issued on a number of blockchains, including Bitcoin (Omni protocol), Ethereum (ERC-20 protocol), Tron (TRC-20 protocol) and Algorand (ASA protocol).

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Currently, if a trader wants to transfer 100 USDT (ERC-20), it would cost them approximately $3.43 in Ethereum network gas fees. The same transaction using ASA would be 100 times cheaper, making it extremely appealing, especially to high-frequency, high-volume traders.

The continued development of the crypto space

Ethereum, with the largest developer community in the crypto space and by far the highest number of DApps running on it, understands this better than anyone. However, the arrival of Ethereum 2.0 could still be some time away. However, the arrival of Ethereum 2.0 could still be some time away, and we need alternatives to Ethereum and its rising gas fees and network congestion.

Algorand is a technically sound protocol that provides the scalability essential for further crypto adoption and the continued growth of the space. And it’s a major step in the right direction as cryptocurrency gets closer to mainstream adoption.

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Healthy competition such as this incentivizes layer-one protocols like Ethereum to intensify the moats around their products and to solve issues related to their scalability, transaction costs and interoperability. And this can only be a good thing for all participants in the network.

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Ethereum

Ethereum competitor Near launches $800M developer fund as DeFi competition heats up

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Smart contract ecosystem Near Protocol has earmarked $800 million for new funding initiatives aimed at growing its decentralized finance capabilities, offering the latest evidence that the highly lucrative DeFi market is still in its infancy. 

The new funding, which includes the $350 million grants program announced by Proximity Labs last week, gives ecosystem developers added incentive to create new product offerings on Near, the company announced Monday.

Roughly $250 million will be allocated to existing ecosystem developers; another $100 million is earmarked for startup grants, with Near planning to fund more than 20 startups at a rate of $5 million each. The remaining $100 million will be spent on so-called regional funds across Asia, Europe and the United States.

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Value locked in DeFi protocols has surged 936% over the past year, with Ethereum competitors such as Binance Smart Chain, Solana and Avalanche seeing considerable uptake, according to data from DappRadar. Ethereum projects account for roughly 66% of the total value locked across DeFi, according to industry sources.

Despite Ethereum’s overwhelming dominance, the DeFi market is growing at a torrid pace and is currently valued at over $247 billion — leaving plenty of room for competing platforms to capitalize. One year ago, the total value locked in DeFi projects was less than $13 billion.

Near accounts for a tiny sliver of the total DeFi market, but that could soon change as more developers tap into the new funding campaigns and users continue to search for alternatives to Ethereum-based protocols. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Ethereum’s competitors have seen an influx of users fleeing the high fees on the ETH network.

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$2 Billion Worth of Ethereum Burned Since August

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$2 billion worth of Ethereum could have been dumped on the market, but thanks to EIP-1559 it has been burned

Due to the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency market and the popularity of the NFT and DeFi industries, the Ethereum network reaches another milestone: more than $2 billion worth of Ethereum has been burned recently. The significant USD value of the burned tokens is also followed by a recent 15% price increase.

Ethereum burn rate

With the implementation of the EIP-1559 update, the fee-burning mechanism has been introduced to the network. Since then, Ethereum mining rewards are getting burned instead of going directly to miners’ pockets.

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Ethereum burns
Source: Dune Analytics

With network load increasing due to the popularity of the DeFi and NFT industries, the burning rate is moving up gradually with 616,000 Ethereum burned while a little bit over one million ETH have been minted.

At the current pace, the Ethereum burn rate remains at 0.58 with more Ethereum burned than earned by miners. If the network remains in the same condition until around the year 2023, Ethereum will become a deflationary coin, which means that the circulating supply will start to decrease progressively.

Effect on the price

While deflationary blocks are not something new, various fund managers and wealthy investors have expressed their feelings about the future of the coin by predicting that it will remain growing due to the constant reduction of the supply.

Ethereum daily chart
Source: TradingView

At press time, Ethereum is trading at $4,145, after reaching the previous ATH of $4,380 on Oct. 21. Cryptocurrency traders and investors have not yet moved Ether past the previous high, leaving it hanging close to the local peak.

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Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH still holds below $4,200, swift breakout to follow today?

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  • Ethereum price analysis is bullish today.
  • ETH/USD set a higher low at $4,000 yesterday.
  • Ethereum looking to break $4,200 today.

Ethereum price analysis is bullish today as another higher low was set yesterday, leading to a move higher overnight. Therefore, we expect ETH/USD to continue higher and break the $4,200 mark later today.

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH still holds below $4,200, swift breakout to follow today? 1
Cryptocurrency heat map. Source: Coin360

The cryptocurrency market traded in the green over the last 24 hours, with Bitcoin up by 3.36 percent. Meanwhile, Ethereum gained 1.32 percent, while Solana (SOL) is the top performer with an 8 percent gain.

Ethereum price movement in the last 24 hours: Ethereum sets higher low at $4,000, returns below $4,200 resistance

ETH/USD traded in a range of $3,967.12 – $4,175.12, indicating substantial volatility over the last 24 hours. Trading volume has increased by 13.58 percent and totals $16.559 billion, while the total market cap trades around $488.65 billion, resulting in market dominance of 18.82 percent.

ETH/USD 4-hour chart: ETH ready to break $4,200?

On the 4-hour chart, we can see bullish momentum strong today as the $4,200 mark gets tested again.

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH still holds below $4,200, breakout to follow today?
ETH/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Ethereum price action has seen a strong performance so far in October. After breaking out of a more than week-long consolidation on the 1st of October, a strong advance followed until the first resistance at $3,650.

Over th next weeks, two further waves higher were set. The first one took ETH/USD to just under $4,000, while the second one all-the-way to the previous all-time high at $4,400.

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Since then, the Ethereum price has retraced again. Previous swing highs were retested over the weekend, with support found at $3,900. Yesterday, ETH/USD moved to $4,200, with no further upside seen, leading to another retracement. 

Another higher low was set, pushing ETH back to $4,200 earlier today, which will likely lead to more upside over the next 24 hours.

Ethereum Price Analysis: Conclusion 

Ethereum price analysis is bullish as a new high thigh was set yesterday, leading ETH back to the $4,200 local resistance. Therefore, we expect ETH/USD to break higher over the next 24 hours.

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While waiting for Ethereum to move further, read our guides on LTC wallets, Gero wallets, and  DeFi wallets.

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