Why did I pay gas fees for a failed transaction?

Gas paid is not a fee that MetaMask receives so we cannot refund it. This fee is paid to validators for finalizing transactions, validating them into blocks, and securing the blockchain.

The Ethereum network requires gas to execute transactions. When you send tokens, interact with a contract, or do anything else on the blockchain, you must pay for that computation. That payment is calculated in gas, and gas is always paid in ETH.

You are paying for the computation, regardless of whether your transaction succeeds or fails. Even if it fails, validators must verify and execute your transaction, which takes computational power. You must pay for that computation, just like you would pay for a successful transaction.

There are a few other error examples that you could encounter during the transaction failure: 

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