According to the official fee documentation:

When network activity is below capacity, you pay the network minimum, which is currently 100 stroops (0.00001 XLM) per operation.

However, I found ledger 171583 in the testnet which contains 3 transactions (below the current 50 capacity) each containing a single operation (below the current 100 capacity). However, the fee charged for each transaction is 100000 stroops.

Can you explain the reason for the high fees?

  • 1
    Current ledger capacity on the testnet is actually 100 operations per ledger regardless of the transactions count, but the ledger in question is below the surge pricing threshold anyways as it contains only 3 ops. I checked the archives history and it shows 100000 stroops, so it's not a Horizon issue. Quite interesting. Also, fee_charged from the previous ledger equals 100 stroops while on the ledger 171589 charged fee is again 100000 stroops.
    – Orbit Lens
    Feb 9, 2020 at 18:16
  • Thanks for the note. Can you share a link to how find the blockchain capacity?
    – Alon
    Feb 9, 2020 at 19:27
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    I created a corresponding Github issue for this. Surge pricing behavior in details described here. This standard also contains a specification of operations per ledger limitations. Before protocol v 11 parameter maxTxSetSize defined the maximum number of transactions within a ledger, after - the total number of operations per ledger. To check current limits you can fetch a ledger header: horizon-testnet.stellar.org/ledgers/?order=desc
    – Orbit Lens
    Feb 10, 2020 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


The gist of what SDF Core developers commented on the issue:

It turned out that presently the testnet is always in the fee surge pricing mode because the condition if (operations > ledgerHeader.maxTxSetSize-100) will be always true (current ledger max_tx_set_size is 100) if at least one transaction is included into the ledger. So, for example, if you submit a transaction with max_fee=1000000000 (100 XLM) and your transaction is the only one in the ledger, you'll end up paying 100 XLM in fees.

On the pubnet max_tx_set_size=1000, so the surge pricing threshold there equals 900 operations per ledger.

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