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Binance account consolidation sends Ethereum gas fees soaring

A “routine” Binance account consolidation process sent gas fees on Ethereum soaring, prompting accusations of incompetence on Thursday. 

At approximately 6 am ET, an address labeled Binance 14 received hundreds of incoming ether transactions. Per Etherscan, the process sent gas prices as high as 280 gwei – over twenty times more expensive than the 13 gwei at the time of writing. 

The activity briefly made the address one of the largest gas guzzlers on Ethereum, as the wallet was responsible for 83% of fees at the peak of the transfers. Top spenders tend to include the decentralized exchange Uniswap, various MEV bots, and layer-2 networks settling transactions to the base chain.

Source: Etherscan

The Binance 14 address has spent $842,000 in total gas fees on a 24 hour basis, and just $562 in the last three hours. Over the course of its existence, the address – which currently accounts for $250 million of Binance’s nearly $56 billion in holdings – is responsible for $95 million in gas expenditure between both incoming and outgoing transfers. 

In a statement to Blockworks, a Binance spokesperson said “Binance carried out a routine consolidation of [ether] ETH to one of its wallets. Any impact to gas prices was unintentional but quickly resolved.”

Indeed, throughout its existence the Binance 14 address has seen a number of gas spend spikes, including one on Dec. 9, 2022 that led to an 880 ETH spend over a 24-hour period. 

Binance was the target of ire on social media as a result of the account consolidation process, with many observers noting that if they had simply spread the transactions out over a longer period of time, the gas spike would have been significantly subdued. 

As a result of what some labeled as inefficient methodology, Binance ended up spending more on gas than they would have otherwise and made the network more expensive for others. 

“Every interaction I have had with them screams of incompetence,” said Rotki app founder Lefteris Karapetsas of the transfers.

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