Livepeer (LPT) Token Minting Congests Ethereum Network

Usage of the Ethereum network is neutral, but one contract has been a constant presence, burning 20% of all gas on a regular basis.

One smart contract constantly attracts attention on the Ethereum gas station, regularly consuming close to 20% of all gas. This Tuesday, its gas usage was once again extremely high. The contract keeps sending out one digital asset - the LPT token of the Livepeer network.

LPT, which has no pricing information for now, is issued in a complex mechanism known as Merkle Mining. In effect, users of the Livepeer network use a small amount of Ethereum (ETH) to order a new tranche of tokens. The units are distributed by the smart contract and leave a record on the main chain of Ethereum. However, those actions burn gas for transaction fees, and as the Livepeer network and distribution grow, so does the impact.

As of 6:00 UTC, gas usage had risen from 20% to 28% and above within one hour. The usage of the contract fluctuates, often falling below 10%. But the LPT token distribution is a constant fixture of Ethereum now. The usage peaked at 28.94% of all gas.

For now, the effect on general gas prices is limited since LPT transactions are non-priority. During the FOMO 3D congestion, regular fees were above $0.50, but the price of sending ETH is still $0.03 now, which is higher than usual but not exorbitant.

Within the Livepeer network, there is also some competition to send a request for tokens. Sometimes, another user can send the same transactions for mining with a higher gas fee, overtaking other network participants.

The chief task of the Livepeer network is transcoding files for streaming by using distributed computing work. The LPT token is supposedly paid for this type of computing work. This mining and staking through the Ethereum mainnet started in May 2018.

The Livepeer network seems to find real-world application for Ethereum although the gas usage is not for the transcoding computation itself but for sending and receiving a token.