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The ETH Blockchain and the NFT Marketplace

Author: NFT Creator

Sat Apr 02 2022


BLOCKCHAIN - Holy crap am I annoyed.  No matter how long I work with this stuff there always seems to be some huge stack of information that I am either missing, or just didn't research well enough.  Or both.

I'm going to start off this story by pointing out that the last story I wrote was about OpenSea, and all the joys of working with that system.  This story is kinda related to that.  Because some of the griping I did there was about the ETH chain and its gas fees.

The next thing I'm going to say is that, I have spent a lot of time defending NFTs and the blockchain as not being a scam.  A lot of people say it is.  I say that's not true.  But I'm having a really hard time defending all the behavior I see on the ETH chain.  I don't exactly think that working with the ETH chain is a scam.  But it's about as close as I've seen yet.  And here I will go on to explain, and why I am so pissed off about this right now.

What happened?
It's not just one thing.  It's a string of things that have occurred in recent weeks.  The short version of the story looks like this:

  • I want to move coins on the ETH chain
  • I set up the move
  • I find out that the "Gas fees" are outrageously high.  It will cost me $35 to move $2 worth of the coin.
  • So I back out.  Now my $2 is stuck there.
  • OR - I initiate the transaction, thinking everything is fine.  The transaction fails for some reason.  They keep the fees.  I get nothing.

To explain this better, I must tell more of the story
My mission started out with, "Hey, it would be great if I could get some coins into my OpenSea account so I can buy some stuff."  According to what I see on OpenSea, the local currency I need is Polygon (MATIC).  So...  I find various ways to get me some of that.  I've got it.  I move it to my wallet that can be seen by both MetaMask and OpenSea.  But the MATIC in MetaMask is not in my OpenSea wallet.  Gee...  That's strange.  After some investigating, it turns out that the MATIC I have in MetaMask is different.  And it's on the wrong chain.  I have it on the Polygon chain, but it's still not correct.  Because, you see, it's still not the right token.  The right token is actually WETH (wrapped Etherium).

Okay...  Sheesh.  So I find a way from one of my other wallets to move WETH to my MetaMask wallet.  But it moved in on the ETH chain, and not the Polygon chain, where I need it.  Seriously?!   

It is here that I want to move my WETH from the Ethernet Mainnet to the Polygon Mainnet.  All $2 worth of it.  But no matter how I try to do it, the gas fees rack up to a minimum of $30-35. 

This is fees to move this coin in MY wallet, from one chain to another.  There is no reason it should cost ANY money at all to do that.  It's my f'n wallet!  Why do I have to pay any fees at all to shuffle stuff in it?  I had once made the analogy, and I will repeat here...  This is like having $2 in your right hand, and having to pay someone $35 to move it to your left hand for you.  And if it doesn't work, you will lose the $35 fee.  And if you have any complaints about that, well you see, it's your own damned fault.  You should have read more about how it works.  Yes.  That is what I've been told.

It should be noted right here, that other chains like WAX for instance, do not do that.  You can move WAX, or anything supported in the WAX system from one wallet to another, or within your own wallet, and there are never any fees.  The closest thing they have is that you need to rent CPU time to allow transactions to occur.  But that is not a cost.  You stake WAX for the CPU usage, and they actually pay you for staking your WAX anyway.  Much more sensible system.

Anyway...  As of right now, that money is stuck there.  And there really is no way to move it without paying someone.  Or...  If I ever DO decide to try again, I have to move WAY more than $2 in order to justify a $35 fee.  And this brings me to the next problem.  That is, that I do not trust the chain with large transactions.

Why is that?
Simple.  There is no accountability.  There is no responsibility.  There is no regulation.  There is no authority.  If your money gets lost, stolen, hacked, taken, used for fees even though no transaction went through, that is your loss.  And that is all anyone will ever tell you.  Well, other than "You should have read more about it." or some other nonsense, completely putting the blame on you for being stupid.

I have had this happen with small amounts of money.  One example (which is actually still part of the same story), is where I'm trying to do a swap of WETH for TRX using the swap tools included in the wallet.  I had about 2 TRX sitting in my account.  I set up the swap.  The system took my 2 TRX for fees, then failed the transaction because I didn't have enough TRX.  If I had more than 2 TRX open in that wallet, the system would have taken that too.  The only reason it didn't take more is because I didn't have more to work with.  They did this with no warning.  No explanation that it would happen.  No way to put a stop to it.

Oh, wait, I forgot something.  I started out that day with 100 TRX.  I swapped that TRX for WETH because I was trying to get it to OpenSea.  Well, there is no way to move the WETH directly.  Different kind of wallet, apparently.  Something I didn't know until I tried.  So I tried to move the WETH back to TRX.  The trade would have only given me 45 TRX because, I dunno.  Reasons?  But, I was willing to do it because the WETH was useless to me.  So I tried to swap it back.  In the end, I have a bunch of WETH that I cannot move or even use, and my remaining TRX got taken for fees in my effort to right the ship.  Mind you, it cost me almost nothing when I moved the TRX with WETH.  And I have no idea why it's different going the other way.

Look...  I get it.  100 TRX is hardly enough to complain about.  It's only like $6.  But it's the principle of the matter.  And it sets up the very reason why I will NOT trust that system with larger amounts of money.

This brings us to the conclusion and my final advise
Don't use the ETH chain.  That's pertty much it.  If you want to play around in the NFT space, just avoid using the ETH chain at all.  Stay in systems that don't use gas fees. 

The gas fees are expensive, arbitrary, unjustified, badly explained, unregulated, and just scream of scam behavior.  There is no other exaplantion for it. 

I get that fees are part of the deal much of the time.  But they normally amount to very small percentages of the full transactions.  This nonsense with fees that rack up into the double digits when that is many times MORE than the transaction, just makes no sense.  Not unless you are moving larger sums of money.  And doing that is entirely too risky.

So just avoid it completely.  That is my advice.

#bitcoin #cryptocurrency #ETH #NFT #nftcollector #opensea #openseanft #WETH

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