Crypto Beginner

What is Gwei, and how does it work?

what is GWEI

Wei, Gwei, Gas Gees. Three terms for you. Three Ethereum-specific terms for us to dismantle, so you can go “Shway Shway” like Bollywood wife Maheep Kapoor while you cruise into crypto land.

Understanding Gwei

When speaking of transaction costs on the Ethereum network, the word “Gwei” frequently pops up. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is a blockchain platform. So users use it to buy, sell, and exchange goods and services without an intermediary. But, unlike Bitcoin, it also hosts smart contracts. The network’s token is Ether (ETH), and Gwei refers to a tiny quantity of ETH.

What is Gwei, and how does it work?

Gwei is a unit of Ether (ETH), the crypto used on the Ethereum network. The word is a mashup of the terms Giga and Wei. Just like paisa corresponds to the INR, Wei is the smallest number of the ETH. One ETH consists of a quintillion Wei (18 zeros). You know how 100 paisa makes up 1 rupee, right? Well, one Gwei consists of 1,000,000,000 Wei. So, 1 billion of it is an ETH.

Users commonly express the price of gas on the Ethereum network—that is, the transactional fees users pay miners/stakers—in Gwei. That makes it the most oft-used ETH unit.

On the Ethereum blockchain, users contribute to the gas charges. Validators earn this sum as compensation for the computational power they lend for executing transactions.

Understanding the role and function of Gwei in Ethereum transactions.

When referring to the Ethereum network, you could shell out extra for a transaction that is completed quickly or a little less for one that can be completed slowly.

Ether denominations explained

There are many more ETH denominations in use, though. Each of the denominations has an alternative name (mentioned in parentheses). These alternative names are based on influential figures in cryptography. The other ETH fractions are:

Wei (Wei)

Wei Dai is a cryptographer best known for creating b-money, the predecessor of Bitcoin. He also conceptualized many concepts that form the basis of all modern cryptos.

KWei (Babbage)

KWei is the equivalent of 1,000 Wei. Its alternative name Babbage comes from the developer of one of the earliest automated computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage was also a philosopher, mathematician, inventor, and mechanical engineer.

MWei (Lovelace)

Composed of 1,000,000 Wei, MWei gets its name from mathematician, writer, and computer programmer Ada Lovelace. Lovelace was the first to develop and publish an algorithm.

Gwei (Shannon)

The term, which we know by now, comes from American cryptographer, mathematician, and crypto analyst Claude Shannon. Shannon is “the creator of information theory.”

TWei (Szabo)

Computer programmer, attorney, and cryptographer Nick Szabo produced ground-breaking research on digital contracts and money. Twei, which amounts to 1,000,000,000,000 Wei, gets its name Szabo from him.

PWei (Finney)

Hal Finney, the renowned researcher and cryptographer, was the first to receive Bitcoin from Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. He was one of Bitcoin’s early developers.

Ether (Buterin)

Ether, a.k.a. Buterin, was established by Vitalik Buterin, programmer and author. Hence the alternative name.

Why is Gwei important for individual investors?

All Ethereum users must pay gas costs for transactions on the network or any dApps running on top of it. So, to do pretty much anything on the network, as an individual investor, you will need some Gwei.


The cost of making a transaction on the Ethereum platform might be substantial for individual investors. For instance, the Ethereum network’s average gas cost in December 2021 was 106 Gwei.

That said, just 40.66 Gwei were the average used in July 2021. So while the fee is high, it, fortunately, fluctuates considerably. Keeping this in mind, it makes sense to plan your purchases to coincide with lower prices. To learn more about how to save on gas fees, click here.

It’s also important to note that a series of significant Ethereum network updates scheduled for 2023 aim to increase transaction speed and decrease transaction fees. Fingers crossed!


What is 1 gwei equal to?

1 Gwei is equal to one billionth (1/1,000,000,000) of an Ether (ETH), which is a unit of cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum network. Gwei is also referred to as “nanoether” or “Shannon” after Claude Shannon. It is used to specify Ethereum gas prices, which are fees paid for transactions and computations on the Ethereum blockchain. This unit helps in measuring and setting the cost of using the Ethereum network.

How is gwei price calculated?

Gas Limit * Gas Price per Unit = Total Gas Fee in Gwei

How is the gas fee calculated from gwei?

To calculate the total gas fee in gwei, you simply multiply the gas limit by the sum of the base fee and tip.

What happens if you set gwei too low?

while setting a low Gwei can save on transaction fees, it’s essential to strike a balance between cost savings and transaction speed and reliability. The ideal gas price depends on the network’s current congestion and your urgency.

Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. The information provided in this post is not to be considered investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch. Any action taken upon the information shall be at the user’s risk.

Share this:


Subscribe to our newsletter

Weekly crypto updates and insights delivered to your inbox.

Browse our Newsletter Archive for past editions.


Thank you for subscribing!
Please verify your email to start receiving the latest issues from Switch in your Inbox.
Powered by

Build your crypto portfolio on the
CoinSwitch app today

Scan the QR code below or find us on Google Play
Store or Apple App Store.

Build your crypto portfolio on the
CoinSwitch app today

Scan the QR code below or find us on Google Play Store or Apple App Store.