Ethereum miners earned a record $830 million in January as network activity, fees and ether’s price all surged.
Monthly revenue has not reached this level since the previous record from January 2018 near ether’s previous all-time high, according to data estimates by CoinDesk.
Revenue estimates assume Ethereum miners sell their ether immediately.
On-chain data reviewed by CoinDesk, however, shows network fees in January 2018 only represented 9% of monthly revenue. Last month, nearly 40% of revenue came from network fees, totalling more than $504 million in revenue.
Notably, fees consistently represented a low, single-digit percentage of monthly revenue every month from ether’s previous record high until May 2020, when the Ethereum-centric decentralized finance (DeFi) craze gained momentum.
Since May, fees have represented an average of 30% of miner revenue per month.
Growth in fee revenue isn’t surprising given the network’s consistently high transaction costs. Average transaction fees priced in dollars hit record highs on Jan. 11 passing $19, according to data from Blockchair. The previous transaction fee record was set just five months ago at $10.33 per average transaction on Sept. 1 during the peak of DeFi’s red-hot summer.
Eager to not miss out on soaring revenue, mining activity has seen a marked increase, with the network’s hashrate following in step and reaching an all-time high Tuesday above 360,000 gigahashes per second (GH/s), per Etherscan. Mining difficulty has followed suit, recently setting a record high above 4,600 terahashes per second (TH/s) and still climbing.