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What are gas fees?
What are gas fees?
Updated over a week ago

Gas fees are transaction fees paid to validators on Ethereum. OpenSea does not receive these fees and is not able to refund them. OpenSea also doesn't control gas prices nor does it profit from them.

In this article, we'll explain what validators are and explore why gas fees are needed. We'll also go over the two categories of gas fees you'll encounter while using OpenSea (one-time fees and recurring fees), as well as failed transactions.

Let's dive in!

What are validators on Ethereum?

Ethereum uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. In proof-of-stake, a validator receives blocks from peers on the Ethereum network and re-executes transactions to make sure the block is valid.

Validators have dedicated significant funds to the network in the form of staked ETH. This “stake” amount replaces the work miners did in proof-of-work, securing the network because a participant must buy and hold cryptocurrency in order to be chosen to validate blocks and receive gas fees.

When you pay gas fees, the payment only guarantees your transaction to be processed. It does not guarantee that the transaction will succeed.

This is because gas prices on Ethereum fluctuate. If there is a high level of activity on Ethereum—for example, a popular NFT collection is being released—gas prices will rise due to network congestion. In this case, the original gas fee you paid may no longer be high enough for validators to process and confirm the transaction.

When are gas fees needed on OpenSea?

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Whenever you’re submitting a transaction to be processed on the blockchain, you will need enough cryptocurrency in your wallet to cover the associated gas fees.

When using OpenSea, there are two main categories of gas fees you’ll come across:

  • One-time fees

  • Recurring fees

One-time fees

As we mentioned above, there are a few actions you can take when using OpenSea after which you’ll be prompted by your wallet to pay a required one-time gas fee These often involve you approving certain interactions with a smart contract for the first time.

First time listing an NFT in a collection: The first time you list an NFT in a specific collection (related to a single NFT smart contract) for sale, you’ll need to pay a one-time gas fee. You won’t have to pay a gas fee for later listings of NFTs in that collection. This lets the NFT smart contract understand you have authorized transfers of NFTs in that collection (for example, if your listed NFT is later purchased).

First time using a cryptocurrency in a transaction: The first time you list an NFT for sale or make an offer to purchase an NFT using a specific cryptocurrency (related to a specific token smart contract), you’ll need to pay a one-time gas fee. For example, if this is your first time listing an NFT in an auction or making an offer to purchase an NFT, you will also need to approve WETH, a type of ETH used for auctions and offers. This lets the token smart contract understand you have authorized transfers of that cryptocurrency (for example, if your offer is accepted).

Deploying a smart contract: Finally, you’ll need to pay gas to deploy a smart contract when creating a new NFT collection or creating a Drop.


Recurring fees

These recurring gas fees will occur whenever you take one of the below actions. This is because they require a blockchain transaction.

  • Buying an NFT

  • Transferring an NFT

  • Minting an NFT

Gas-free actions

These actions don't require gas fees:

  • Connecting your wallet to OpenSea

  • Listing an NFT for sale at a fixed price (after the first time you have done so for an NFT in a specific collection)

  • Listing an NFT in an auction or making an offer (after the first time you have done so)

    • Price drops only apply to ERC-721 NFTs and not ERC-1155 NFTs

    • Canceling listings will incur a gas fee

  • Canceling an offer

    • Your cancellation may be delayed for a few minutes as we check to make sure there are no outstanding attempts to accept the offer. After choosing to cancel an offer, you’ll also see the option to instead pay gas to send an on-chain cancellation to cancel immediately.

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