You can choose the amount of network fees to include when you create a transaction. The amount of fees affects the processing speed of the transaction.
The use of network fees
- The security of a blockchain network generally depends on the amount of work done by miners.
- The miner that proposes the next block of transactions to the network, has to provide proof of the amount of work done to create the block.
- If the transactions are valid and the proof of work is sufficient, the miner may collect the fees offered in the included transactions, as a reward for the work done.
Choose your network fees
When sending crypto assets, the network fees you offer determine your priority in the queue of pending transactions. Miners will prioritize transactions that offer high fees. Choose high fees if you require fast confirmation or lower fees if you can wait a while to save on fees.
For your convenience, Ledger Live dynamically estimates three levels of fees or allows custom fees for advanced users:
- Fast: the transaction will roughly be included in the next block (about 10 min for Bitcoin)
- Medium: the transaction will roughly be included within 3 blocks (about 30 min for Bitcoin)
- Slow: the transaction will roughly be included within 6 blocks (about 60 min for Bitcoin)
You can switch between the standard fees and the advanced fees interfaces in Ledger Live:
Only select the advanced fees interface if you understand what you are doing. Otherwise, your transaction may get stuck in a queue for an undefined period of time until it will get dropped.
Ethereum network fees
For Ethereum and Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies, the network fees are set by the gas price and the gas limit. Gas is a unit of cost for computing things on the Ethereum blockchain. The more things you need to compute, for example, the more complex the smart contract is, the more computing power you require.
For example, transferring ETH will be much cheaper than transferring/swapping ERC20 tokens or minting/transferring NFT as it involves the execution of the smart contract for these assets.
You decide on two things: how much you're willing to pay per unit of gas (the gas price), and how much gas you're willing to spend on a transaction (the gas limit).
Gas price is measured in Gwei which is the smallest unit of Ethereum (ETH). 1 gwei equals 0.000000001 ETH. So, 1 ETH represents 1 billion of gwei. Then Gas limit is the total amount of work you are requesting from miners for your transaction to be processed and broadcasted by the network. Normally, this amount is preset for you in Ledger Live and equals 21,000 Gas by default for most transactions.
Your maximum transaction fee is equal to gas price x gas limit. Once the gas limit is reached, you won't spend more and unused gas will remain on your account. On the contrary, if the gas limit or gas price is not enough, the network will still burn your fees trying to process the transaction but eventually, it will get dropped by the network and the funds will remain on your account.
You can manually increase or decrease the Gas Limit and Gas Price in Ledger Live (for advanced users):
It’s hard to say how much Gas Price is needed at different periods of time since this amount changes constantly. On one hand, at periods of high demand and network congestion, the gas prices can reach high amounts and result in very expensive fees for transferring the assets like ETH, ERC20 tokens, and NFTs. On other hand, when the market is calm and very few transactions are performed, the fees can be very low.
Even though the fees are automatically estimated in Ledger Live, you can still refer to a variety of specialized websites that inform the network situation and the recommended gas price at the moment:
- Etherscan Gas Tracker: a good tool provided by Etherscan. Updates gas prices every 14 seconds.
You can see the gwei price for the standard transactions in low, average, and fast mode and the estimated network fee in fiat value ($).
- ETH Gas.watch: this website has a simple user interface and it provides estimated information about Gas Prices from different sources like Etherscan, MyCrypto, and Gas station
Additionally, a good explanation of the gas fees concept is available in our Ledger Academy article.
Lastly, if you performed a transaction and it got stuck, please refer to this Help Center article that will help you.