Ethereum Network Overloaded Again, Strong Suspicions of Spam

A single account with what looks like a meaningless shuffling of funds between wallets is consuming a significant share of Ethereum resources.

The Ethereum network is once again undergoing what looks like a spam attack. A single address is sending and receiving transactions, consuming 24.85% of the gas, based on data from the Ethereum gas station. This was the peak value in the early hours on Tuesday UTC, and later the transactions started to gradually decrease their gas use.

While in the past increased activity was linked to airdrops or other project-related transactions, this time, the usage looks like outright spam, which was also reflected in the comments on Etherscan.

“What is this? It's spamming the entire network. Looks like a PlayerBook clone, but makes no sense, it's registering weird names,” wrote user EtherGuy.

Another user explored the transactions and noticed a pattern of repeating wallet addresses, loaded with Ethereum to pay for the fees:

“It’s a botted ring wallet system with nearly 150,000 to 200,000 ethereum in it. The bots translate random addresses to other random addresses and random amounts of eth to make them difficult to spot on block history. I don't have the tools to tell you where it came from,” wrote user PoWH3D.

The Ethereum network is seeing a relatively high level of transactions in the past 24 hours, though still below 700,000. The price for fast transactions was raised slightly, though the safe cost for a transaction remains $0.017. However, in case someone wants a faster transaction, the fees may be higher.

In the case of shifting around a sum of around 150,000 ETH, in increments of 0.02 ETH, the estimated cost of today’s attack is around $20,000. So far, there has been no hint as to who is the entity that decided to spam the network with gas-intensive transactions.

The usage of the Ethereum network for smart contracts and distributed apps remains quite low - as was once again noticed based on data of dApp usage.

Even the best-used apps rarely go above 20% of network gas usage. The biggest congestions have happened during token distributions and ICOs.

The Ethereum overload is not the only network issue in the world of digital assets and blockchains. The EOS blockchain, which was presented as the viable alternative to Ethereum, may also be undergoing a deliberate transaction overload.

For days now, EOS has been at the top of the Blocktivity chart, now with more than 6 million transactions in 24 hours. For now, there are no statistics on the usage of EOS dApps.

The issue of fake network loads and transaction counts is creating a false impression of activity in the crypto space, where in fact some projects are barely used. Even Bitcoin payments remain a niche activity. Exchanges have also used faked volumes to boost their visibility and invite new users.