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Vitalik Buterin NFTs triggers surge in Ethereum gas fees

The Buterin Cards NFT collection triggered a 13% gas fee increase on the Ethereum (ETH) network. In the past 24 hours, transactions linked to the collection resulted in fees totaling 318.31 ETH, equivalent to $665,670.

Buterin-themed NFTs  

As of 3:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 1, transactions linked to a new non-fungible token (NFT) project known as Buterin Cards reportedly accounted for over 13% of the total Ethereum network gas fees within three hours, surpassing fees from the Uniswap universal router address and Tether’s public address, according to Etherscan data. 

The surge in fees was a consequence of heightened demand for processing transactions associated with the Buterin Cards NFT collection. 

The Buterin Cards project seeks to release 2,015 NFTs as a tribute to Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain. Utilizing a unique NFT minting process called JPEG mining, the project distinguishes itself by storing image data on-chain, deviating from conventional NFTs that only store metadata on-chain.

To ensure the integrity of the uploaded data and prevent arbitrary uploads, the smart contract verifies data correctness by computing its hash. The project’s website explains that thanks to progressive JPEG technology, the NFT image gradually unveils as it undergoes the mining process.

In exchange for their contributions, miners are rewarded with a card featuring an image of Vitalik Buterin at various quality levels, according to the project’s website.

The Ethereum evolution

In recent times, Ethereum has undergone significant developments, most notably the shift to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, known as Ethereum 2.0. This transition replaced the energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) model, introducing staking, where validators stake 32 Ether (~$50,000) and are randomly selected to add blocks. This change has led to a remarkable 99.9% reduction in Ethereum’s energy consumption.

The broader Ethereum 2.0 upgrade, consisting of phases like the Beacon Chain, the Merge, and Shard Chains, aims to enhance scalability and security. These adjustments address Ethereum’s limitations, including scalability and energy consumption.

In terms of market performance, Ethereum’s price has rebounded, surpassing the $2,000 level and approaching new 52-week highs, reflecting a robust 2023 performance.

Additionally, Ethereum gas fees have experienced fluctuations, reaching their lowest levels since November 2022. 

The decrease in gas fees has been attributed to a reduction in on-network activity, resulting in more manageable fees for Ethereum users. Factors influencing these changes include network congestion, Ethereum upgrades, and market speculation.

However, the primary goal has been to enhance scalability and decrease fees. Even though the immediate effects of these upgrades may not be evident, they have also contributed to the fluctuations in gas fees.

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