Gas fees — the long-standing problem of cryptocurrency payments. Gas fees can be costly, hinder adoption and exclude people with limited resources from participating in the digital economy.
Imagine you’re buying a coffee using traditional methods; the coffee costs $2.70 plus a 30-cent fee. Your total comes to $3, which you pay with a tap of your card and leave. Buy that same coffee using a stablecoin over the blockchain and it’s not so simple. The 30-cent may need to be paid with a different currency than the original stablecoin, a currency you had no intention of using or is infamous for being extremely volatile in price — this is how all cryptocurrency transactions currently work.
In this article, we will discuss how RIF Relay is solving the issues with gas fees in crypto and explore the benefits RIF Relay has to offer.
What are gas fees?
On every major blockchain, whenever you want to make a transaction, you need to pay a gas fee using the blockchain’s native currency. For example, on the Rootstock network, when you send a stablecoin, submit a governance token, or even buy an NFT, you also need to hold enough RBTC (Rootstock’s native currency) to pay the gas fees.
These fees are used to compensate the network validators (Bitcoin miners in the case of Rootstock) for processing transactions. They are a vital component in maintaining the security and integrity of a blockchain. But for people new to the space and businesses trying to expand their user base, they can be highly unintuitive and heavily restrict onboarding.
RIF Relay addresses this by enabling gas fees to be paid using any token, including stablecoins, without needing to hold a network’s native currency.
What is RIF Relay?
RIF Relay is a secure gasless transaction system designed to simplify the process of paying transaction fees on the blockchain. It allows users to pay fees using any ERC-20 token (e.g., a stablecoin) on the Rootstock network without first purchasing RBTC.
Use cases for RIF Relay
The number one and most prominent use case for RIF Relay is for payments. The ability to use any token, especially stablecoins, to pay gas fees when purchasing products and services is a game changer. RIF Relay improves the current payment methods by abstracting gas fees to increase accessibility and reduce friction for the non-crypto savvy, and provide greater flexibility in payment processing.
RIF Relay makes cross-border transfers more viable — especially for people living in emerging markets. Traditionally, cross-border remittances involve high fees and long processing times, which can be a significant burden for individuals who need to send money to their loved ones in other countries to pay rent, tuition fees, or simply pay for groceries.
On the other hand, cryptocurrency is a cheaper and faster alternative to traditional remittance options. But due to the price volatility of many crypto assets, most cross-border wirings are done using stablecoins — which currently need gas fees to be paid in blockchain’s native currencies. RIF Relay removes the friction for both the sender and receiver by no longer requiring them to acquire the additional cryptocurrency.
Introducing Web3 functionalities to Web2 Apps
Current Web2 fintech companies and crypto wallet providers can move towards implementing Web3 features into their products. RIF Relay can make Web3 payments as intuitively as paying with a credit card.
RIF Relay can enable web2 applications to accept payments in a wider range of ERC20 tokens, which can help to increase flexibility and accessibility for users. It can also help to improve the transparency of transactions and reduce the risk of fraud or manipulation, as all transactions are recorded on chain.
Everyday DeFi is a concept that encompasses the spectrum of DeFi solutions that enable everyday people access to DeFi opportunities without needing to be tech savvy or early adopters. RIF Relay is a key player in enabling Everyday DeFi as it removes one of the first barriers for onboarding new users into DeFi. Combined with the other solutions available in the RIF product suite will help dawn a new era of finance.
Benefits of RIF Relay
RIF Relay empowers businesses to create seamless payment experiences, by allowing their users to pay transaction fees with the token of their preference. Relay’s flexible functionality enables businesses to fully or partially sponsor transaction fees, making onboarding and adoption simple and intuitive, as well as allowing businesses to earn additional revenue on top of the transaction fees.
RIF Relay can be used by any service provider offering payments, transfers, or remittance solutions, as it solves a major friction point in crypto’s mass adoption for everyday financial needs.
Here are some benefits of integrating RIF Relay:
The ability to bypass the need to buy different tokens to interact with a network and pay gas fees significantly improves users’ experience and onboarding for both existing and new crypto users.
The simplicity of sending payments without needing to top-up on the blockchain’s native currency means new users are less likely to become demotivated during their early encounters with crypto, which in turn, reduces churns, and can increase the user base of the dApp.
Subsidized transactions fees
RIF Relay can be used to subsidize transactions on behalf of users. Companies that integrate RIF Relay can choose to pay fees for their users, creating an intuitive experience similar to current traditional online payment methods.
RIF Relay is built on Rootstock — the world’s most secure smart contract-enabled blockchain. As Rootstock inherits the security of the Bitcoin blockchain through Merged Mining, all the smart contracts and transactions executed with RIF Relay are backed by the security of Bitcoin.
RIF Relay is one of the most cost-efficient gas abstraction solutions currently available on the market. Although the solution is based on Ethereum GSN, the gas prices through RIF Relay are significantly lower, giving businesses that integrate Relay a competitive advantage and an opportunity to streamline transactions for their users.
Earn on top of transaction fees
RIF Relay creates the opportunity for businesses to gain a percentage from every transaction fee collected. It offers the flexibility for organizations to decide how fees are collected and distributed.
Get started with RIF Relay
RIF Relay is designed to be accessible and usable for any service provider in the financial industry. By tackling the friction points that have long held back crypto’s mass adoption, RIF Relay is opening up new opportunities for businesses and consumers alike.
As RIF Relay is part of the RIF product suite, it is designed to be easily integrated into existing (or new) products. It is currently available through the RIF Wallet, or can be embedded autonomously to an existing wallet or a payment application with a simple SDK integration.
Find out more about the technical details and how to integrate RIF Relay in our developer portal.
If you believe RIF Relay will help you optimize your business processes and improve your users’ experience, reach out to our experts to explore how to start.