Have great trip to m00n! (OR, a practical demonstration of the current scaling issues facing Ethereum)

4 min readFeb 15, 2021

Rocketship to m00n needs gas, lots and lots of gas…

Here is my recent experience trying to send AAVE from my wallet to an exchange.

Launch app, select “send payment”, chose AAVE, receive message, “The ETH balance in the parent account is insufficient for network fees”.

AAVE is a ERC-20 coin and in order to transact with ERC-20 coins you need to pay a “gas fee” (Gwei). Translation, I need to buy more ETH (Ether by purchasing the Ethereum coin) in order to send my AAVE back to an exchange.

Currently I have $24 worth of ETH, apparently that is not enough to send $71 worth of AAVE!?

So how much ETH do I need? Luckily I can check with Etherscan

As you can see, there are “low/avg/fast” gas quotes. These prices are based on current network usage, they change frequently and can vary drastically in amount.

Here is a view several minutes later from within the app. Even the lowest gas price displays: “The ETH balance in the parent account is insufficient for network fees”. The prices from Etherscan don’t match up, it looks like AAVE is much more expensive to transact with, at least from within the app?

$69 is the cheapest gas price!? Yikes! let’s explore some other sending options…

MetaMask quoted gas fees are $10–20+ higher for slow/avg/high send choices.

Keep in mind, I am trying to send $71 worth of AAVE!

Gas to m00n costs same/more than rocket!

MEW (MyEtherWallet) fees look much more reasonable at $7, finally!

However MEW does not recognize the exchange generated AAVE address.

The gas scale is not responding now, there is no error message but the “Send Transaction” button is grayed out and I cannot send.

I tried generating another exchange AAVE address and receive the error message, “The address provided belongs to a smart contract. Funds sent directly to a contract address may not be recoverable.” and again the “Send Payment” button is grayed out, I cannot send.

Let’s try the first app again… now the lowest setting is 95 Gwei, and showed $7!

Clicked “send payment”. This could take hours, went to bed and checked the next day.

15 hours later, payment is still not processed, apparently “stuck” for too little gas paid…!? The Etherscan transaction gas fee showed less than 50 Gwei, so apparently there is some discrepancy with the Gwei displayed settings on the app, since it showed 95 Gwei…

At such a low Gwei cost this transaction will NEVER go through, luckily with ETH transactions we can cancel/replace pending (e.g. “stuck”) transactions.

Login to MEW to “cancel payment”, which did work but unfortunately does burn more ETH.

So, now I have “cancelled” the transaction and the AAVE is back in my wallet but now i’m down more ETH… ($7 in this case)

Looking up the MEW transactions on Etherscan it looks like the fee was 107 Gwei.

Using that knowledge, I try manually adjust the Gwei settings within the app. I tried forcing a Gwei of 115 with a lower max fee and received warnings about “not enough gas”. A failed transaction will burn ETH so it doesn’t seem worth it.

At this point i’ve wasted almost $20 and have gotten nowhere. I still have these AAVE coins “stuck” in my wallet which I can not transfer off without purchasing more ETH and paying about the cost of the tokens to do so!


This is the current state of ETH gas fees and is due to the massive success of Ethereum and it’s innovations. ETH2.0 is being designed to fix these issue, in addition there are also many other tokens addressing these very issues.


“Rocketship to m00n” rides may be bumpy as the rocket is being built while in flight!