Gas is a term used on the Ethereum platform to refer to fees which are necessary to perform transactions, participate in smart contracts or launch Dapps (decentralized applications). Gas fees are paid in ETH, the native token of the Ethereum network.
A user of Ethereum exchanges these gas fees for a share of the Ethereum network’s computational power. The size of the fee ranges depending on the amount of computational power required to perform the requested action on the Ethereum virtual Machine (EVM).
Gas fees also prevent spamming of the network by adding an economic cost to each significant action taken.
Why are Ethereum gas fees so high?
Gas fees on Ethereum can become quite costly. This is partly a testament to the computational power of the network but it can also be a major barrier to entry, particularly in high fee environments. Ethereum developers are working on methods to limit gas fees in the future.
Do other blockchains have gas fees?
Almost every blockchain has a fee of some kind since this incentivizes participation by those who are eligible to receive the fee and helps to secure the network. However, most blockchains do not refer to these fees as gas fees like Ethereum does. Fees also tend to be lower on many other blockchains that do not require such complex calculations, but instead involve simple value transfer such as Bitcoin.