The Ethereum blockchain seems to be under some sort of attack by a network spamming that is causing congestion within the network which in turn, has had a negative impact on the base fee for the verification of an Ethereum transaction.
Today, marked a second consecutive day during which a heap of unexplained activity has been detected on the network which is causing a great deal of congestion. One lone smart contract has consumed over 35% of gas, which in turn has pushed transaction fees to over $1.00.
As it stands, nobody can pinpoint what has caused the smart contract to enter what seems to be a never ending loop, there are however a number of theories that aim to try and help us understand what is happening on the blockchain.
According to Cryptovest:
“Hypotheses surrounding the seemingly meaningless transactions have included someone deliberately paying to congest the network, or someone running tests for a future event. In any case, even the spammer has paid exorbitant transaction fees in ETH. Suspicions of a rival scam were resurrected.”
“Another hypothesis sees the ETH sent to a lottery-like game, possibly to fake participation by multiple users. ETH-based games are known for having very few users – so the comments under the transactions suggest someone may be creating fake-looking participation.”
See more for yourself, here.
Is there a problem here?
Probably not, overall, this is likely nothing to worry about, other than the increased transaction fees obviously. We should start to worry though if this continues to happen and moreover, if more, similar smart contracts start to behave in this manner. If this is the case, then the notion that this could be someone trying to test the network to exploit smart contracts in the future could be more accurate than we would like to admit.
If this is a bad actor, trying to inflict damage to the network, they don’t seem to be going the right way about it and honestly, it’s probably costing more than it’s worth, so, we can rule out this hypothesis.
The latter theory presented by Cryptovest could be true, if it is then I suppose this is mostly benign and is something that should pass soon enough.