Updated on January 5, 2024
Article byNanditha Saravanakumar
Edited byAlfina
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

GWEI Meaning

Gwei can be defined as a denomination of the cryptocurrency Ether (ETH). The term originated from two words – Giga and Wei. Giga implies a measure of 109, and Wei is the smallest denomination of Ether, of the order 10-18. Hence, 1 Gwei = 10-9 Ether.

GWEI Meaning

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Using such a denomination is important as cryptocurrencies are gaining value, and smaller denominations can facilitate easier transactions. The use of Giga Wei can be seen widely in specifying Ethereum gas prices. Gas in the Ethereum network refers to the processing fee for transactions usually conducted on the network.

Key Takeaways

  • Gwei, or nanoeth, is an Ether denomination prominently used in the Ethereum network. 
  • Gwei price is equal to 10-9 of an Ether. The main difference is that the latter is the fiat currency of Ethereum, whereas the former is a denomination of Ether.
  • Many other denominations exist, like Kwei, Mwei, Twei, etc. However, Giga Wei is more appropriate for certain transactions on Ethereum to gas the network. 
  • Its price is subject to supply and demand conditions in the network. However, it is possible to track and calculate its price using online Gwei calculators.

GWEI Explained

Gwei is a medium of exchange or a sub-currency used in the Ethereum network. However, before proceeding to understand it, there are some other ideas and terms to be aware of. So let’s begin with those terms to have a versatile understanding of the concept and answer some questions along the way.

First up is Ethereum, a digital blockchain technology used for partially-anonymous online transactions and payments. Its medium of exchange or cryptocurrency is the Ether, which functions just like Bitcoin. Ether is a strong cryptocurrency with a value of around $1900. 

Like any currency, Ether, too, is used to buy and sell and make transactions. Some people use it to make online payments, especially if they want to stay anonymous. But why is another denomination required when Ether itself functions as a currency? 

Ether is a highly valued currency. For instance, buying an Apple MacBook Pro with a single Ether currency is possible. Hence, it is best suited for expensive transactions. But many other less expensive transactions take place on Ethereum. For this, a smaller denomination is required. 

Consider, for example, if no cents existed but only dollars. Then, if a person wants to buy candy, they might have to spend more for a less-valued item, fortunately, thanks to cents. Therefore, in simple terms, Giga Wei is to Ether, like cents are to the dollar. 

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Value Of GWEI

But what is the actual value of Giga Wei? Making a comparison of Gwei to USD,

1 Gwei = 0.00000255 USD or,

I USD ~ 392,157 Gwei

While 1 Ether ~ 1900 USD

So, what is Gwei used for? It is used for Ethereum gas. Here, gas means network fees paid to miners and validators. It is also helpful in the execution of smart contracts.

It is important to know that the Gwei price changes with the supply and demand conditions in Ethereum. Therefore, the total fee equals the number of gas units multiplied by the price of one unit.

Ethereum community members can use online resources like the Gwei calculator and tracker to trace the movement and price of the currency denomination. The resources are also available on the official website of Gwei. 

GWEI – Hierarchy Of Ether Units 

Many denominations are used in Ethereum to facilitate easy transactions on the network.

DenominationNicknameOrderNo. of Wei
Kwei (Kilo Wei)Babbage1031,000
Mwei (Mega Wei)Lovelace1061,000,000
Gwei (Giga Wei)Shannon1091,000,000,000
Twei (Tera Wei)Szabo10121,000,000,000,000
Pwei (Peta Wei)Finney10151,000,000,000,000,000
Ether (Exa Wei)Buterin10181,000,000,000,000,000,000

Alternatives To GWEI

There are no alternatives to nanoeth in the Ethereum network, as it is the main medium used for gas. Though there are other denominations like Kwei, Mwei, Twei, and Pwei, nanoeth is the most appropriate for fee payments. 

However, cryptocurrencies of other networks have much lower transaction fees. Some examples include Dogecoin, Stellar, Cardano, and Litecoin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How much is 1 Gwei?

A Giga Wei is equal to 10-9 Ether. Compared to USD, one unit equals 255 x 10-8. Usually, payments are made in higher orders, i.e., to make up for a reasonable amount.

2. What is Gwei gas?

In the Ethereum network, certain transactions occur while executing contracts, mining Ether, and validating other transactions. For this, payment is made using Giga Wei units, as Ether currencies are highly valued. Therefore, the total amount to be paid is equal to the product of total gas units used or consumed and the price per unit of gas, or here Giga Wei.

3. Why is Gwei so high?

The price of Gwei is not high. It is of the order of 255 x 10-8 USD. It is used in place of Ether to facilitate transactions of lesser amounts since the value of Ether is higher, at $1900. The payments are made in hundreds or thousands of Giga Wei, depending on the amount.

This article has been a guide to What is GWEI and its meaning. Here, we explain the hierarchy of Ether denomination units, its value, and alternatives to GWEI. You can also go through our recommended articles on corporate finance –

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