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Golden Observation丨Gas fees continue to rise, and the Ethereum project UniLogin is forced to shut down



The popularity of DeFi and liquid mining has also triggered a surge in Ethereum gas fees, and Ethereum miners have received softer gas fees. The negative effect is that some Ethereum projects are unsustainable due to high Gas fees.

Recently, UniLogin, an onboarding solution for Ethereum users, has announced that it will shut down the entire project, return the remaining funds to investors, and look for a new direction because of the high cost of subsidizing users due to the continued high Gas fees of Ethereum. UniLogin said that the new direction they are considering is a DeFi wallet focusing on Layer 2 or a login solution in the Ethereum sidechain xDAI.

UniLogin founder Alex Van de Sande said that the current Ethereum gas fee market, the rise of DeFi and new browser standards have greatly changed the rules of the game, so that it is impossible to see the direction of UniLogin.

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The creation of UniLogin started two years ago with the vision of establishing a common login standard for Ethereum, a method that uses smart accounts and abstracts all users to register directly from a browser to Ethereum. The interview survey conducted by UniLogin at the time found that most DApp developers said that they would be willing to pay transaction fees for users as long as they can profit from user behavior.

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Therefore, UniLogin introduces two fee models: Meta transaction and fee-free transaction. If the user pays the Gas fee by himself, use the ERC20 token he already owns to make the payment using Meta transaction. If the DApp pays for the user, the user only needs to create a wallet and send the transaction.

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According to Alex Van de Sande, the UniLogin product was based on three assumptions, all of which have now been proven wrong.

False Assumption 1: Browsers are seen as low-value key stores

One of UniLogin's goals is to "create any account without downloading or installing any additional files", so localstorage is used to store the initial key.

But some browser vendors, most notably Apple, are enforcing new memory wipe policies that include wiping all memory if a user doesn't visit a site within seven days. As a result, UniLogin had to change its roadmap, including logging in via email. This means that UniLogin will host user wallets. The only identifying information that UniLogin would have liked to provide users with was the ENS name.

False Assumption 2: Scalability Isn't a Problem

In our presentation, this was an explicit assumption: availability is more important than scalability, and given that so many L2 solutions (such as xDai) are deployed in the market, once scalability becomes an issue, we will go all out go all out.

UniLogin is particularly sensitive to Gas prices, as acquiring a new user, UniLogin deploys a new multisig wallet on their behalf, registers ENS names, and sometimes even uses relayers to add Dai transactions. After that, each new login on a different device will require a new on-chain transaction (to add a new key), and each transaction will be more expensive due to relayers. Sometimes, new user registrations cost over $130!

False Assumption 3: Ethereum is for everyone

At present, Ethereum is going through a process of large households. In this process, it is the DeFi whales who are pricing the use of the Ethereum network. Each transaction costs several dollars, making games, NFTs, DAOs, and many other exciting applications largely inaccessible to users.

Along the way, a lot of new things will move to L2 or their own chains, and many applications use different scalability solutions. As a result, it is now difficult to build systems as a general purpose account.

Therefore, UniLogin said that one direction they are considering is to completely move to L2 DeFi dedicated wallets or login solutions for only a small part of the products in xDAI. But it was pretty much a reboot of the project, so UniLogin decided to return the remaining cash to investors and move on to the next opportunity.


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