Subsidize an ETH faucet / use gasless meta-transactions

The Problem:
Currently, gas fees on the Optimism Network can only be paid in ETH. For experienced users this is not a problem, since they have learned to keep a reserve. New users might not consider this requirement / don’t have the habit and therefore might get stuck on chain.

Consequently, they have to pay high fees to bridge to L2 and maybe also the fees to initially move balances to their L1 address.

Solutions:

  • Subsidize an ETH faucet that gives stuck users enough (a few cents) to swap some of their tokens back to ETH. Testnet faucets are already being heavily botted, so you would need to restrict these faucets so that exploiting them is not viable.

  • zkSync uses “gasless metatransactions”, which means that from the user’s perspective any token can be used to pay for fees. I’m not sure if this is implementable on Optimism and what the downsides are, but it seems like a convenient mechanism to improve the user experience.

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Yes a faucet would be useful. It would also help with onboarding new users directly to Optimism bypassing Ethereum.

Too reduce Sybil attacks a platform like https://unitap.app could be used.

Metatransactions are the answer here. I’d suggest making a proposal related to that, the sequencer, and some sort of treasury from which the fees can be pulled from.

Metatransactions have many advantages over a faucet:

  • Existence is more obvious, you wouldn’t know about the faucet unless you google it / a DEX integrates it into their UI

  • UX is closer to TradFi

  • The fees are ultimately paid for by the user, just in a different currency (?)

Though I don’t know enough about the mechanism to make a proposal. Maybe someone with more knowledge has ideas on that.

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I would like to support metatransactions over faucet. Given current settings that stablecoin such USDC and USDT are cheaper to bridge over L2 than ETH, but ETH is mandatory for every transaction, this creates bottlenecks for certain groups of users thus might consider not bridging to Optimism (and also Arbitrum). This would also minimize complexity for non-crypto person to easily conduct a transaction here solely with stablecoin.

Personally I think this may not be a large priority in near term given there are big chunks of top priorities in the pipeline. However, this is worth considered for long-term plan since we need to make user journey most simple as possible.

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