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Vedant Chainani
Vedant Chainani

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⛽ Gasless Meta-Transactions: The Key to Scalable and Accessible Blockchain Adoption


Blockchain transactions are revolutionizing the way we send and receive value. Ethereum, one of the top blockchain platforms, is handling millions of smart contract executions every day. But, it can be hard for new users to get started, since they need ETH and the process can be complicated. Meta transactions simplify this process by allowing users to interact with the blockchain without holding ETH.

In this article, we'll uncover the benefits of using these innovative transactions and how they can be easily implemented with the help of OpenZeppelin Defender Services. Plus, we'll explore the wide range of use cases for gasless meta transactions, from decentralized finance to gaming and beyond.

What are Gasless Meta-Transactions

Gasless Meta-Transactions are a new way to use blockchain technology without having to pay extra fees. Normally, when you want to do a transaction on a blockchain like Ethereum, you need to pay a fee called gas. But with Gasless Meta-Transactions, you don't have to pay this fee. This makes it easier and cheaper for people to use the blockchain and participate in transactions. Simply put, Gasless Meta-Transactions allow you to use the blockchain without having to pay extra fees, making it more accessible to everyone.

High Ethereum Gas Fees

Why Gasless Meta-Transactions are Beneficial?

Gasless Meta-Transactions are beneficial since they simplify user transactions on the Ethereum network. Users can send payments to each other quickly and easily without having to worry about gas fees. This simplifies the process of using the Ethereum network, which may assist promote adoption. Furthermore, gasless Meta-Transactions can assist minimize the cost of utilizing the Ethereum network, which is especially essential for low-budget customers.

Another reason why Gasless Meta-Transactions are required is that they can help in the solving of the Ethereum network's scalability problem. As more people join the Ethereum network, the demand for transactions rises, potentially leading to higher gas fees and slower transaction times. The Ethereum network can handle more transactions without worrying about expensive gas fees or long transaction times by allowing for gasless Meta-Transactions. This can help the network in scaling to meet the increasing demands of its users.

Important Terms

Gasless Meta-Transactions work based on the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 2771. This proposal outlines a way to execute transactions on the Ethereum blockchain without the need for the user to pay gas fees.

Before we get into the specifics of how these transactions function, we must first know a few things.

OpenZeppelin Defender

OpenZeppelin Defender is an open source and free solution that helps automate smart contract operations to deliver high-quality products with lower risk


A relayer is a third-party service that helps users execute transactions on the blockchain without having to pay gas fees.

Think of a relayer as a middleman that helps you send a message or make a transaction without having to pay for it yourself. The relayer pays the gas fees for the transaction and then gets reimbursed by the user. This way, the user doesn't have to hold any Ethereum or pay gas fees to make a transaction on the blockchain.

A Defender Relay allows you to send transactions easily and handles private key storage, transaction signing, nonce management, gas estimation, and automatic resubmissions if necessary.

Defender Relay Service

The Defender Relay service handles private key secure storage, transaction signing, nonce management, gas pricing estimation, and resubmissions over a standard HTTP API. This eliminates the need to secure your private keys in your backend scripts or monitor your transactions to guarantee they are mined.


The Defender Autotasks service allows you to run code snippets on a regular basis, via webhooks, or in response to a transaction.

An Autotask, similar to a serverless function, is a snippet of javascript code that is invoked at regular intervals. And, in fact, they are implemented using Lambda functions.

When you create an Autotask, you provide a javascript snippet, select a trigger for it to perform, and optionally connect it to a Relayer. Currently, Defender supports two types of triggers:

  1. Schedule: Select a frequency for executing your Autotask, and Defender will ensure that your function is invoked at the appropriate interval, you can use cron expressions to indicate when the Autotask should run.
  2. Webhook: Defender will generate a secret URL for your Autotask and call it anytime an HTTP POST request is made to that endpoint. This URL can be regenerated at any moment. Defender will inject the HTTP request data into your Autotask and send the Autotask run information along with any data returned from your function.

How do Gasless Transactions Work?

A meta-transaction is a fancy word for a simple concept: a relay server can send a user's transaction while also paying for the gas cost. Instead of signing an Ethereum transaction, which would cost ETH for gas, a user signs and transmits a message containing information about a transaction they want to execute to a relay server.

Components of a Meta-transaction

  • Client: signs and sends transactions to the relay server.
  • Autotasks: Supply the necessary logic for telling the Relayer to send a transaction to the forwarder contract.
  • Relay servers: makes a transaction and pays the Ethereum protocol's gas fees.
  • Forwarder: Ensures that the signature matches to the request.
  • Recipient contract: Executes the call using the original sender.

Flowchart depicting how Gasless Meta-Transactions work?


A client signs a message with its own private key and sends the request to an Autotasks API-created Webhook URL.


The Autotask's webhook URL is prominently displayed in the frontend of the decentralized application (dApp). Each time the dApp makes a call to the webhook, the Autotask is activated.

It's important to note that only the Autotask's webhook is accessible from the frontend. The Autotask carries out the transaction based on the specific logic assigned to it.

For instance, in a non-fungible token (NFT) project, the logic can be set such that a transaction is only sent to the relayer if the user is on the whitelist.

Relay Server

When the conditions within the Autotask are satisfied, the Autotask code is executed and sends the transaction to the relayer. The relayer then forwards the transaction, including the gas fees, to the Forwarder Contract.


The Forwarder Contract then checks if the signature matches the request sent by the user. If the signature is valid, the transaction is executed.

Use Cases

Gasless Meta-Transactions allow users to make transactions without having to pay gas fees, making them an attractive option for a number of use cases. In this article, we will explore some of the most promising use cases for gasless meta transactions.

  1. Decentralized Finance (DeFi): These types of applications often require a large number of transactions to be conducted, many of which can be small and infrequent. The elimination of gas fees can help to reduce the overall cost of conducting these transactions and make DeFi applications more accessible to a wider range of users.
  2. Gaming and NFTs: These industries often rely on a large number of transactions to facilitate the exchange of virtual assets and currency. The elimination of gas fees can help to make these transactions more efficient and cost-effective, making it easier for users to engage in these types of activities.
  3. Microtransactions: Microtransactions, or small transactions conducted for a low value, are another use case for gasless meta transactions. The elimination of gas fees through gasless meta transactions can help to make these types of transactions more accessible and cost-effective, encouraging greater use of the blockchain for microtransactions.


In conclusion, gasless meta transactions have emerged as a game-changer in the world of blockchain technology. By eliminating the need for gas fees, these transactions offer a more user-friendly and cost-effective way of conducting transactions on the blockchain. From decentralized finance applications and gaming to supply chain management and microtransactions, the potential use cases for gasless meta transactions are vast and varied. As the technology continues to evolve and gain wider adoption, it is likely that we will see more and more innovative applications for gasless meta transactions in the future.

If you found this article informative, be sure to follow me for more in-depth coverage on web3 and the latest blockchain trends. I'll also be publishing guides on implementing gasless transactions using OpenZeppelin Defender and exploring the technical side. If you're interested, leave a comment and let me know.

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