Fees on Solana

The Solana blockchain has a few different types of fees and costs that are incurred to use the permissionless network. These can be segmented into a few specific types:

  • Transaction Fees - A fee to have validators process transactions/instructions
  • Prioritization Fees - An optional fee to boost transactions processing order
  • Rent - A withheld balance to keep data stored on-chain

Transaction Fees #

The small fee paid to process logic (instruction) within an on-chain program on the Solana blockchain is known as a "transaction fee".

As each transaction (which contains one or more instructions) is sent through the network, it gets processed by the current validator leader. Once confirmed as a global state transaction, this transaction fee is paid to the network to help support the economic design of the Solana blockchain.


Transaction fees are different from account data storage deposit fee of rent. While transaction fees are paid to process instructions on the Solana network, a rent deposit is withheld in an account to store its data on the blockchain and reclaimable.

Currently, the base Solana transaction fee is set at a static value of 5k lamports per signature. On top of this base fee, any additional prioritization fees can be added.

Why pay transaction fees? #

Transaction fees offer many benefits in the Solana economic design, mainly they:

  • provide compensation to the validator network for the expended CPU/GPU compute resources necessary to process transactions
  • reduce network spam by introducing a real cost to transactions
  • provide long-term economic stability to the network through a protocol-captured minimum fee amount per transaction

Basic economic design #

Many blockchain networks (including Bitcoin and Ethereum), rely on inflationary protocol-based rewards to secure the network in the short-term. Over the long-term, these networks will increasingly rely on transaction fees to sustain security.

The same is true on Solana. Specifically:

  • A fixed proportion (initially 50%) of each transaction fee is burned (destroyed), with the remaining going to the current leader processing the transaction.
  • A scheduled global inflation rate provides a source for rewards distributed to Solana Validators.

Fee collection #

Transactions are required to have at least one account which has signed the transaction and is writable. These writable signer accounts are serialized first in the list of accounts and the first of these is always used as the "fee payer".

Before any transaction instructions are processed, the fee payer account balance will be deducted to pay for transaction fees. If the fee payer balance is not sufficient to cover transaction fees, the transaction processing will halt and result in a failed transaction.

If the balance was sufficient, the fees will be deducted and the transaction's instructions will begin execution. Should any of the instructions result in an error, transaction processing will halt and ultimately be recorded as a failed transaction in the Solana ledger. The fee is still collected by the runtime for these failed transactions.

Should any of the instructions return an error or violate runtime restrictions, all account changes except the transaction fee deduction will be rolled back. This is because the validator network has already expended computational resources to collect transactions and begin the initial processing.

Fee distribution #

Transaction fees are partially burned and the remaining fees are collected by the validator that produced the block that the corresponding transactions were included in. Specifically, 50% are burned and 50% percent are distributed to the validator that produced the block.

Why burn some fees? #

As mentioned above, a fixed proportion of each transaction fee is burned (destroyed). This is intended to cement the economic value of SOL and thus sustain the network's security. Unlike a scheme where transactions fees are completely burned, leaders are still incentivized to include as many transactions as possible in their slots (opportunity to create a block).

Burnt fees can also help prevent malicious validators from censoring transactions by being considered in fork selection.

Example of an attack: #

In the case of a Proof of History (PoH) fork with a malicious or censoring leader:

  • due to the fees lost from censoring, we would expect the total fees burned to be less than a comparable honest fork
  • if the censoring leader is to compensate for these lost protocol fees, they would have to replace the burnt fees on their fork themselves
  • thus potentially reducing the incentive to censor in the first place

Calculating transaction fees #

The complete fee for a given transaction is calculated based on two main parts:

  • a statically set base fee per signature, and
  • the computational resources used during the transaction, measured in "compute units"

Since each transaction may require a different amount of computational resources, each is allotted a maximum number of compute units per transaction as part of the compute budget.

Compute Budget #

To prevent abuse of computational resources, each transaction is allocated a "compute budget". This budget specifies details about compute units and includes:

  • the compute costs associated with different types of operations the transaction may perform (compute units consumed per operation),
  • the maximum number of compute units that a transaction can consume (compute unit limit),
  • and the operational bounds the transaction must adhere to (like account data size limits)

When the transaction consumes its entire compute budget (compute budget exhaustion), or exceeds a bound such as attempting to exceed the max call stack depth or max loaded account data size limit, the runtime halts the transaction processing and returns an error. Resulting in a failed transaction and no state changes (aside from the transaction fee being collected).

Accounts data size limit #

A transaction may specify the maximum bytes of account data it is allowed to load by including a SetLoadedAccountsDataSizeLimit instruction (not to exceed the runtime's absolute max). If no SetLoadedAccountsDataSizeLimit is provided, the transaction defaults to use the runtime's MAX_LOADED_ACCOUNTS_DATA_SIZE_BYTES value.

The ComputeBudgetInstruction::set_loaded_accounts_data_size_limit function can be used to create this instruction:

let instruction = ComputeBudgetInstruction::set_loaded_accounts_data_size_limit(100_000);

Compute units #

All the operations performed on-chain within a transaction require different amounts of computation resources be expended by validators when processing (compute cost). The smallest unit of measure for the consumption of these resources is called a "compute unit".

As a transaction is processed, compute units are incrementally consumed by each of its instructions being executed on-chain (consuming the budget). Since each instruction is executing different logic (writing to accounts, cpi, performing syscalls, etc), each may consume a different amount of compute units.


A program can log details about its compute usage, including how much remains in its alloted compute budget. See program debugging for more information. You can also find more information in this guide for optimizing your compute usage.

Each transaction is alloted a compute unit limit, either with the default limit set by the runtime or by explicitly requesting a higher limit. After a transaction exceeds its compute unit limit, its processing is halted resulting in a transaction failure.

The following are some common operations that incur a compute cost:

  • executing instructions
  • passing data between programs
  • performing syscalls
  • using sysvars
  • logging with the msg! macro
  • logging pubkeys
  • creating program addresses (PDAs)
  • cross-program invocations (CPI)
  • cryptographic operations

For cross-program invocations, the instruction invoked inherits the compute budget and limits of their parent. If an invoked instruction consumes the transaction's remaining budget, or exceeds a bound, the entire invocation chain and the top level transaction processing are halted.

You can find more details about all the operations that consume compute units within the Solana runtime's ComputeBudget.

Compute unit limit #

Each transaction has a maximum number of compute units (CU) it can consume called the "compute unit limit". Per transaction, the Solana runtime has an absolute max compute unit limit of 1.4 million CU and sets a default requested max limit of 200k CU per instruction.

A transaction can request a more specific and optimal compute unit limit by including a single SetComputeUnitLimit instruction. Either a higher or lower limit. But it may never request higher than the absolute max limit per transaction.

While a transaction's default compute unit limit will work in most cases for simple transactions, they are often less than optimal (both for the runtime and the user). For more complex transactions, like invoking programs that perform multiple CPIs, you may need to request a higher compute unit limit for the transaction.

Requesting the optimal compute unit limits for your transaction is essential to help you pay less for your transaction and to help schedule your transaction better on the network. Wallets, dApps, and other services should ensure their compute unit requests are optimal to provide the best experience possible for their users.


For more details and best practices, read this guide on requesting optimal compute limits.

Compute unit price #

When a transaction desires to pay a higher fee to boost its processing prioritization, it can set a "compute unit price". This price, used in combination with compute unit limit, will be used to determine a transaction's prioritization fee.

By default, there is no compute unit price set resulting in no additional prioritization fee.

Prioritization Fees #

As part of the Compute Budget, the runtime supports transactions paying an optional fee known as a "prioritization fee". Paying this additional fee helps boost how a transaction is prioritized against others when processing, resulting in faster execution times.

How the prioritization fee is calculated #

A transaction's prioritization fee is calculated by multiplying its compute unit limit by the compute unit price (measured in micro-lamports). These values can be set once per transaction by including the following Compute Budget instructions:

  • SetComputeUnitLimit - setting the maximum number of compute units the transaction can consume
  • SetComputeUnitPrice - setting the desired additional fee the transaction is willing to pay to boost its prioritization

If no SetComputeUnitLimit instruction is provided, the default compute unit limit will be used.

If no SetComputeUnitPrice instruction is provided, the transaction will default to no additional elevated fee and the lowest priority (i.e. no prioritization fee).

How to set the prioritization fee #

A transaction's prioritization fee is set by including a SetComputeUnitPrice instruction, and optionally a SetComputeUnitLimit instruction. The runtime will use these values to calculate the prioritization fee, which will be used to prioritize the given transaction within the block.

You can craft each of these instructions via their Rust or @solana/web3.js functions. Each instruction can then be included in the transaction and sent to the cluster like normal. See also the best practices below.

Unlike other instructions inside a Solana transaction, Compute Budget instructions do NOT require any accounts. A transaction with multiple of either of the instructions will fail.


Transactions can only contain one of each type of compute budget instruction. Duplicate instruction types will result in an TransactionError::DuplicateInstruction error, and ultimately transaction failure.

Rust #

The rust solana-sdk crate includes functions within ComputeBudgetInstruction to craft instructions for setting the compute unit limit and compute unit price:

let instruction = ComputeBudgetInstruction::set_compute_unit_limit(300_000);
let instruction = ComputeBudgetInstruction::set_compute_unit_price(1);

Javascript #

The @solana/web3.js library includes functions within the ComputeBudgetProgram class to craft instructions for setting the compute unit limit and compute unit price:

const instruction = ComputeBudgetProgram.setComputeUnitLimit({
  units: 300_000,
const instruction = ComputeBudgetProgram.setComputeUnitPrice({
  microLamports: 1,

Prioritization fee best practices #

Below you can find general information on the best practices for prioritization fees. You can also find more detailed information in this guide on how to request optimal compute, including how to simulate a transaction to determine its approximate compute usage.

Request the minimum compute units #

Transactions should request the minimum amount of compute units required for execution to minimize fees. Also note that fees are not adjusted when the number of requested compute units exceeds the number of compute units actually consumed by an executed transaction.

Get recent prioritization fees #

Prior to sending a transaction to the cluster, you can use the getRecentPrioritizationFees RPC method to get a list of the recent paid prioritization fees within the recent blocks processed by the node.

You could then use this data to estimate an appropriate prioritization fee for your transaction to both (a) better ensure it gets processed by the cluster and (b) minimize the fees paid.

Rent #

The fee deposited into every Solana Account to keep its associated data available on-chain is called "rent". This fee is withheld in the normal lamport balance on every account and reclaimable when the account is closed.


Rent is different from transaction fees. Rent is "paid" (withheld in an Account) to keep data stored on the Solana blockchain and can be reclaimed. Whereas transaction fees are paid to process instructions on the network.

All accounts are required to maintain a high enough lamport balance (relative to its allocated space) to become rent exempt and remain on the Solana blockchain. Any transaction that attempts to reduce an account's balance below its respective minimum balance for rent exemption will fail (unless the balance is reduced to exactly zero).

When an account's owner no longer desires to keep this data on-chain and available in the global state, the owner can close the account and reclaim the rent deposit.

This is accomplished by withdrawing (transferring) the account's entire lamport balance to another account (i.e. your wallet). By reducing the account's balance to exactly 0, the runtime will remove the account and its associated data from the network in the process of "garbage collection".

Rent rate #

The Solana rent rate is set on a network wide basis, primarily based on a runtime set "lamports per byte per year". Currently, the rent rate is a static amount and stored in the Rent sysvar.

This rent rate is used to calculate the exact amount of rent required to be withheld inside an account for the space allocated to the account (i.e. the amount of data that can be stored in the account). The more space an account allocates, the higher the withheld rent deposit will be.

Rent exempt #

Accounts must maintain a lamport balance greater the minimum required to store its respective data on-chain. This is called "rent exempt" and that balance is called the "minimum balance for rent exemption".


New accounts (and programs) on Solana are REQUIRED to be initialized with enough lamports to become rent exempt. This was not always the case. Previously, the runtime would periodically and automatically collect a fee from each account below its minimum balance for rent exemption. Eventually reducing those accounts to a balance of zero and garbage collecting them from the global state (unless manually topped up).

In the process of creating a new account, you must ensure you deposit enough lamports to be above this minimum balance. Anything lower that this minimum threshold will result in a failed transaction.

Every time an account's balance is reduced, the runtime performs a check to see if the account will still be above this minimum balance for rent exemption. Unless they reduce the final balance to exactly 0 (closing the account), transactions that would cause an account's balance to drop below the rent exempt threshold will fail.

The specific minimum balance for an account to become rent exempt is dependant on the blockchain's current rent rate and the desired amount of storage space an account wants to allocate (account size). Therefore, it is recommended to use the getMinimumBalanceForRentExemption RPC endpoint to calculate the specific balance for a given account size.

The required rent deposit amount can also be estimated via the solana rent CLI subcommand:

solana rent 15000
# output
Rent per byte-year: 0.00000348 SOL
Rent per epoch: 0.000288276 SOL
Rent-exempt minimum: 0.10529088 SOL

Garbage collection #

Accounts that do not maintain a lamport balance greater than zero are removed from the network in a process known as garbage collection. This process is done to help reduce the network wide storage of no longer used/maintained data.

After a transaction successfully reduces an accounts balance to exactly 0, garbage collection happens automatically by the runtime. Any transaction that attempts to reduce an accounts balance lower that its minimum balance for rent exemption (that is not exactly zero) will fail.


It's important to note that garbage collection happens after the transaction execution is completed. If there is an instruction to "close" an account by reducing the account balance to zero, the account can be "reopened" within the same transaction via a later instruction. If the account state was not cleared in the "close" instruction, the later "reopen" instruction will have the same account state. It's a security concern, so it's good to know the exact timing garbage collection takes effect.

Even after an account has been removed from the network (via garbage collection), it may still have transactions associated with it's address (either past history or in the future). Even though a Solana block explorer may display an "account not found" type of message, you may still be able to view transaction history associated with that account.

You can read the validator implemented proposal for garbage collection to learn more.