For Solana Users, ‘Priority Fees’ Mean Paying Up to Skip the Line
Solana’s blockchain is more expensive than ever. For the network and its users, that may be a good thing.
Users can pay additional fees to validators on the Solana network in order to prioritize their transactions – so they go through faster. High-traffic situations, like a fleeting arbitrage opportunity in crypto-trading or a scramble to mint a hot non-fungible token (NFT), can benefit greatly from the extra boost.
The tech upgrades Solana developers pushed last year to fight congestion issues are now being adopted by the ecosystem’s wallets and trading protocols, including Jupiter’s exchange aggregator and Orca’s trading pool.
According to data from validator statistics service Solana Compass, nearly three quarters of all nonvote transactions had priority fees attached in one recent epoch (the blockchain’s time period for validators). Priority fee adoption has been growing all year, reaching a new high water mark.
According to the current market price, Solana users paid an average transaction fee of 0.000014641 SOL in that epoch (epoch 402). That is a 67% increase over rates in early July. Based on the total value flowing across the network, 963 SOL were spent on priority fees last epoch, or nearly $24,000 – an error based on the number of SOL transferred.
According to the pseudonymous 7Layer, who runs Overclock validator service, users can pay 100x current costs and not care since it’s still less than a cent.
As developers say, priority fees will help bring order to a network that’s had its share of chaos, most notably from trading bots that spammed the network in 2021.