Optimal SOLution — September 10

Chart of the Day

Despite the fundamental change in fee structure, the average gas fee on Ethereum is back to levels last seen in mid-May, hovering near 110 gwei with occasional spikes to 3,000 gwei on Sept. 9. The NFT mania is no doubt the primary force behind this surge in transactions fees and the “culprit” in causing massive network congestion. At the moment, L2 is probably the best scaling solution for Ethereum, but market participants are on the lookout for alternative networks for DeFi projects and NFT minting. Consequently, non-Ethereum public chains have been gaining traction, as evidenced by the surge in total value locked (TVL) across various networks. The TVL on Solana, for instance, has surpassed Terra and Polygon (the May favorite), and currently stands at $7.86 billion. Coincidentally (or not), its native token, SOL, tops the L1 token leaderboard with a stellar performance. 

Talk of the Town

Payments giant Mastercard has acquired blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace to provide “greater transparency” to identify potential risks and better comply with regulatory guidelines. Within the crypto sphere, CipherTrace is known for offering fraud protection, anti-money laundering, and financial investigation solutions, and has developed compliance tools for decentralized exchanges. The acquisition is part of Mastercard’s venture into the realm of digital assets, laying the groundwork for broader application of blockchain and NFT and the potential to support stablecoins directly on its network.