Twitter just enabled Ethereum wallets to the tipping jars feature on creators’ profiles. The news was met with skepticism and jokes from users who pointed out that it would not be practical to send tips using a network that can charge you gas fees much higher than the money you want to send.
What Are Twitter Tips
The platform explains that “Tips is a feature that lets you add links to select third-party payment services to your Twitter profile.” Meaning that using it you can either get paid tips –as a content creator with a community– or send tips to whoever uses the feature.
“You can tip to show support, show appreciation, help out or reward anyone you want – from emerging creators and journalists to Twitter Spaces hosts and more. Because tipping occurs through third-party payment services, you must also ensure that your tips comply with the terms and policies of those services.”
Bitcoin was the first digital coin available in the feature. They also include traditional third-party payment companies Venmo, Cash App, GoFundMe, Patreon, and Wealthsimple.
“Through Tips, you’ll also be able to copy someone’s Bitcoin or Ethereum address and paste their address into whatever wallet you use,” explains the platform. Twitter claims that users keep 100% of the tip they receive. This does not take into account the fees that third-party payment services may charge.
Anyone who is at least 18 years old and agrees to their General Tipping policy can request, receive, or send tips. At the moment, the feature is only available for iOS and Android phones.
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Gas Fees And the Most Expensive Tips Ever
Some users jokingly said that Jack Dorsey is punching the air right now. The former Twitter CEO is known as a bitcoin maximalist, and he has publicly dismissed other digital coins. Many believe that the latest Ethereum-related features launched on Twitter would not have gone through with Dorsey still in charge.
Other jokes met a known complaint about the ethereum network: gas fees.
A user said “Who in their right mind is going to tip you in $ETH when the gas fees equate to taking out a loan?” and another one tweeted “can’t wait to pay $40 in #ETH gas fees to tip $2 on Twitter.”
Ethereum faces a scalability problem that has made the gas fees required to make transactions unaffordable at times. However, the EIPs (Ethereum Internet Proposals) are meant to help the situation and layer 2 scaling solutions like ZKSync and Polygon (MATIC) already show improvements as seen below.
Recently Ethereum gas fees went down by %71 from the mid-January average of $52.46. Etherechain.org reports that the gas price for a standard transfer is around 40 GWei ($2.62) at the time of writing and roughly 90 GWei ($6.19) for rapid transactions. The fees had not been this low since September 2021 when they were around $15.
According to l2fees.info data, the fees are much lower for L2 protocols to around $0.19 per transaction as seen below.
Ethereum is moving towards a Proof of Stake model and L2 protocols are meant to evolve into a point where gas fees become a problem of the past, but at the moment users still have to be careful of the price swings when sending transactions. As seen in the following chart, the prices can vary a lot in a week.
There are many tricks and calculators that can help make a transaction when ETH gas fees are low, but do users what to go through all that just to send a tip? They can also tip with Bitcoin by using Strike, a payments platform built on the Lightning Network, which usually costs a few cents or less to make a transaction.
So rather than supporting the Ethereum network, did Twitter just manage to highlight Ethereum’s weak points?
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