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In the context of Ethereum and other blockchain platforms, ‘gas’ refers to the computational effort required to execute operations like transactions and smart contract executions. Essentially, gas is the unit that measures the amount of computational work and resources needed to perform various actions on the Ethereum network. Every transaction or smart contract execution requires a certain amount of gas, with more complex operations requiring more gas.

Users must pay for this gas in Ether, Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, and the price of gas is determined by supply and demand between the network’s miners, who process transactions, and users. The concept of gas is crucial in preventing network spam and allocating resources on the network efficiently, as well as in ensuring that users pay a fee proportional to the computational power they consume.