During a rush to issue an Ordinals-inspired coin called POLS, gas fees on the Polygon network went as high as $0.10.
Gas fees on Ethereum layer-2 Polygon increased more than 1,000% to a high of $0.10 when users flooded the network with Ordinals-inspired tokens known as POLS.
Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal expressed his amazement at the increased transaction activity on the network in a Nov. 16 X (previously Twitter) post, speculating that the surge could be attributed to the debut of a new Polygon-based non-fungible token (NFT) collection.
The explanation for the increase in network traffic and rapid increase in gas fees appears to be a frenzy of enthusiasm for minting the new POLS coin.
According to Dune Analytics, the rush of POLS minting activity corresponded with the use of more than 102 million MATIC MATIC $0.8311 tokens — worth $86 million at current rates — as gas.
The POLS token is based on the PRC-20 protocol, which is comparable to the Bitcoin Ordinals-derived BRC-20 token standard.
Only 8.7% of the total POLS supply has been coined, according to data from Ethereum Virtual Machine data source EVM, with little over 18,100 people claiming the token.
Polygon gas fees had subsequently reverted to normal levels at the time of publication, settling at roughly 882 gwei. Gas fees are the amount of processing work required to complete a transaction on a certain blockchain, with 1 gwei equal to approximately 0.000000001 MATIC.
In May of this year, the Bitcoin network experienced a similar, if more extended, surge in activity with the release of the Ordinals protocol, which allowed users to mint NFTs directly onto the Bitcoin blockchain.
The subsequent craze for Ordinals NFTs and BRC-20 tokens drove Bitcoin fees to levels not seen before April 2021, prompting more traditional-minded Bitcoiners like Samson Mow and Adam Back to dismiss the NFT protocol and token standard as wasteful.
The Polygon gas fee spike serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of the blockchain landscape and the potential impact of new technologies and trends. While layer-2 solutions like Polygon offer scalability benefits over Ethereum, they are not immune to congestion and fee spikes. Developers and users must continue to monitor and adapt to the evolving demands of the blockchain ecosystem.