Oct 27, 2023
We had the pleasure of presenting at the Paradigm Consumer Crypto Hackathon today. It was amazing to see so many builders coming together to build experiences for consumers using decentralized rails.
Preparing for the hackathon, we wondered: “what is the single biggest unlock for consumer crypto today?”. The answer is obvious: the ability to sponsor gas on behalf of users.
To that end, we’re thrilled to show off our hackathon project: Privy’s integration with the Base Goerli paymaster! Earlier today Base announced their Paymaster for 4337 accounts. Support for gas sponsorship of user transactions will unlock many novel use cases in consumer crypto.
Put simply, it means:
For users - gas is complicated, and one of the biggest sources of friction for onboarding. No more.
For apps - sponsoring gas (especially wallet deployment costs) can be prohibitively expensive.
For developers - faucets are a pain. You never need to fund your wallet with testnet ETH again just to test a transaction!
And right now, the kind folks at Base are sponsoring all of this functionality for you! What’s better than sponsoring your users’ gas? Having Base do it :b!
You can leverage the Base paymaster with Privy and your favorite 4337 account provider today. For our build out, we used:
Privy for onboarding + embedded wallets
Alchemy AccountKit to generate smart accounts for users
Base paymaster to cover gas fees
Viem for interfacing with wallets
You can get started by cloning the starter repo here and checking out our slides from the hackathon here. We used AccountKit and Base's paymaster in this project, but Privy works out-of-the-box so you can integrate your favorite 4337 provider (like ZeroDev or Biconomy) and your favorite paymaster (like StackUp, Pimlico or Alchemy's) across blockchains. This is just the beginning!
We believe adoption of paymasters will unlock huge swaths of consumer apps to be built. Gas is an essential part of running operations on a decentralized systems. It acts as spam prevention, congestion management, and incentive for miners to operate all at once.
The flipside: gas is a major hindrance to mainstream adoption of crypto products. Requiring users to pay for gas means needing to onramp every user before they can take their first action in any onchain product. It is a major roadblock to getting any product value in crypto for the average user.
To most users, Internet services are free. You wouldn’t expect to pay for the infra costs of your Netflix account, you expect it to be part of your subscription. You wouldn’t expect to pay for the storage costs associated to your Amazon order, it’s bundled into the spread amazon takes. Users are used to having core infrastructure be subsidized on their behalf. For most, there is no going back.
We’d be remiss not to mention that users often pay a steep price for free services. Online services monetize users in different ways by selling their data. As gas sponsorship becomes more commonplace, having a real business model will become that much more urgent for most apps. As we build in the space, we must look for those apps that don’t sell out users to make ends meet.
Nonetheless, unlocking easy gas sponsorship for users is a huge first step in opening up the crypto consumer landscape and we’re excited to be building on the frontier with great partners like Base!