Neon EVM is very excited to announce a shake-up for gas fee payments. Neon EVM Testnet now supports several tokens as payment for the “gas fee” — paid to the Proxy Operator that processes your transaction. How soon to live? This feature is set to go live on Devnet in the following weeks and Mainnet in Q1 2024.
When users transact with supported tokens such as SPL USDC and SOL, they will have the option to pay the gas fee in the transaction token rather than NEON. This means that if you are sending SOL, then you can pay the fee in SOL.
Before we look at the advantages that alternative gas payments bring to the Neon EVM ecosystem, let’s start with a quick dip into Ethereum’s roadmap, as this impacted our own approach and priorities.
Account abstraction is a feature that has been added to the Ethereum roadmap. It offers new functionality and flexibility to the end user’s wallet and additional powers to smart contracts.
Under the hood, a standard wallet may be upgraded to a smart contract wallet. This allows the user to achieve outcomes directly from an Ethereum wallet that, till now, could only be reached by trusting a bespoke wallet provider.
Such outcomes include:
The current system does not provide great UX. If, for example, you have a wallet that contains only USDC, then you would have to get ETH elsewhere and send it to that wallet just to pay the gas fees to make use of your balance.
Account abstraction allows smart contracts to be in play at the wallet layer so that dApps can provide an abstraction layer to enable end users to pay in the token of their choice.
We love this addition to the Ethereum roadmap and believe that these improvements will accelerate adoption. And, one of these improvements in particular resonated with the Neon EVM team: payment in alternative gas fees.
There are many arguments that strengthen the case for allowing users to pay gas fees in the token of their choice. Let’s take a look from the different perspectives of the various participants in the Neon EVM ecosystem.
This new feature allows Neon EVM users to pay gas fees in tokens of their choice, not just the NEON token. Not only does this solve the “empty tank” problem, but this flexibility makes it easier for individual users to transact.
In the Neon EVM ecosystem, the Proxy Operator is a very important player. It’s the Proxy Operator that provides the RPC endpoint that accepts a transaction request. They check that your transaction is valid and package it as a Solana-compatible request.
The Proxy Operator is, therefore, vital, and to further decentralize the Neon EVM ecosystem, the roadmap includes expanding the Proxy Operator pool to deepen the ecosystem’s resilience and security. By enabling Proxy Operators to accept transaction fees in stablecoins, Neon EVM makes joining the Neon EVM ecosystem a more attractive option.
Currently, the NEON token is used to pay gas fees. NEON’s value is not stable and can change rapidly and, therefore, it is far harder for Proxy Operators to determine the right fees to charge. Accepting the fee in stablecoins allows the Proxy Operator to mitigate the associated risks that force them to build in a buffer. Furthermore, while Proxy Operators are only able to accept gas payments in NEON, they themselves add to the instability of the NEON token value.
When Proxy Operators are able to accept stablecoins such as USDC for the gas fees, it is possible for them to significantly reduce the buffer they add to future projections. Furthermore, with this new option, it becomes possible for the Proxy Operator to offer favorable fees in a specific token simply to accumulate the token of their choice.
One of the most important elements in the Neon EVM ecosystem is, of course, the dApp developer. Unless you are a purist only interested in dealing in just one token, then you are probably here for the smart contracts. It is these smart contracts created by the dApp developer that breathe life into a blockchain ecosystem.
What if dApps wish to attract more users and offer to pay all the gas fees as a reward for using their platform? The same approach that gives the Proxy Operator an opportunity to choose the token they will accept the fees in, also enables dApp developers to design their smart contracts to accommodate a wide range of use cases — including those that no one has even thought of yet!
Are you as excited as we are with this next phase of the roadmap? This is a significant step forward in the Neon EVM ecosystem development when Proxy Operators get an opportunity to stabilize their activity analysis. And finally, and by no means least, we are curious what those ever-creative dApp developers will do with even more constraints removed.
If you plan to raise capital via an IDO, check out the $15k grant by Poolz x Neon. If you're interested in building on Neon EVM, reach out to us on Discord to learn more about the benefits and how Neon can support your growth. And, don’t forget to join the Twitter community for the latest updates.
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