The Optimist Twitter Spaces - Cheaper On-Chain w/ GasHawk - Revelo Intel

The Optimist Twitter Spaces – Cheaper On-Chain w/ GasHawk

In this episode of The Optimist Podcast on May 15, 2024, Charlie, co-leader of The Optimist, welcomed Dan, CEO of GasHawk, to discuss solutions in crypto transaction efficiency, insights into how GasHawk helps users navigate and minimize hefty gas fees across various blockchains. Read our notes to learn more!


Charlie (Host) – Co-Leader at The Optimist

Dan Hannum (Guest) – CEO of GasHawk

GasHawk – a protocol making transactions on-chain more efficient, safe, and secure

Optimizing Crypto Transactions with GasHawk

  • Dan says that he is the CEO of GasHawk and has been building in the crypto space for about eight years. He previously worked as the COO of ZenLedger, a crypto tax and accounting platform. He talks about his experience building ZenLedger and mentions the need for a solution to make transactions more efficient, safe, and secure, leading to the creation of GasHawk.
  • Dan says that GasHawk is like a Waze-style service for crypto transactions, helping users avoid high gas fees. He describes how GasHawk works at the RPC level, allowing users to add it to their wallets with one click. GasHawk is wallet agnostic, DApp agnostic, and soon to be chain agnostic. It operates non-custodially, optimizing transaction fees based on user-defined timeframes.
  • Dan elaborates on the process: users add GasHawk to their wallets, use their wallets as usual, and GasHawk optimizes the gas fees for signed transactions based on the specified timeframe. He mentions that the service is currently free for retail users and includes additional features like MEV protection and transaction management.
  • Dan highlights that GasHawk monetizes through institutional clients, working with various platforms and entities in the crypto space. The goal is to provide a suite of services that enhance on-chain interactions for both individual and institutional users.

Automating Gas Fee Optimization

  • Charles mentions that users can go to to add the extension to their wallets and highlights that GasHawk handles the transaction after the signing process, ensuring security and user control.
  • Charles asks why users can’t just set a low base fee and wait for the transaction to clear, and how GasHawk’s approach differs.
  • Dan explains that setting a low max base fee per gas is like making a guess on the market, often leading to stuck or failed transactions, which still incur gas costs. He points out that users miss potential dips in fees due to the spiky nature of gas fee fluctuations. 
  • GasHawk’s proprietary algorithms optimize transactions within user-defined timeframes, avoiding the pitfalls of manual fee setting.
  • Dan mentions that manually timing the market by waking up at odd hours is not practical. GasHawk automates this process, allowing users to set deadlines based on their specific needs (e.g., swapping on a DEX might require a 30-45 second window, while deploying a contract might allow for 10-24 hours). GasHawk then finds the best execution within that timeframe, ensuring both security and user convenience.
  • Dan says that GasHawk is non-custodial, maintaining user control over their assets. Users sign transactions in their wallets and GasHawk optimizes the execution based on the provided deadline. This approach balances security and user experience, avoiding the risks associated with custodial platforms.

Scaling and Adding Value to On-Chain Transactions

  • Charles comments on the importance of gas fees for builders and institutions, noting that while users often think about fees from their own perspective, the costs are significantly higher for those deploying contracts and managing protocols.  
  • Dan says that users can adjust their timeframes for different types of transactions, and even individual users managing complex activities like liquid staking can benefit from GasHawk’s services.
  • Dan says that GasHawk not only saves on transaction fees but also offers MEV protection, transaction management, and additional services like scam protection, cashback, and cross-chain arbitrage. He explains that while transaction savings sound simple, they are significant because every interaction on-chain involves a transaction.
  • Dan talks about the challenges and opportunities in crypto’s evolving market. He explains that while L2s offer lower fees, GasHawk still provides value by preventing failed transactions and optimizing transaction management. For instance, on Solana, where many transactions fail due to congestion, GasHawk’s transaction management services can be more valuable than pure savings.
  • Dan elaborates on how GasHawk can help L2s by providing savings for developers and users who face high upfront fees and optimizing transactions posted back to mainnet for settlement. He mentions that GasHawk can work with paymasters, bundlers, and builders to offer significant savings, benefiting platforms that sponsor fees for user transactions.
  • Dan adds that GasHawk’s long-term goal is to add value to every transaction on-chain, beyond just saving on fees. He compares GasHawk to an onion, with layers of value that become apparent as users explore the platform’s capabilities, providing more context on how GasHawk interacts with L2s and other parts of the ecosystem.

Simplifying DeFi and Maximizing Value

  • Dan explains that GasHawk integrates with Flashbots Protect to provide MEV protection for both enterprise and retail clients. Users can enable MEV protection with a single click in their GasHawk settings, ensuring that transactions sit in a private mempool until executed, thus avoiding front-running and other MEV-related issues. Dan mentions that they are also exploring additional private mempool options.
  • Dan shares an interesting aspect of GasHawk’s future plans: capturing MEV opportunities to provide rebates or rewards to users. For example, a transaction that costs $10 on the Ethereum mainnet could be reduced to $2 with GasHawk, and users might receive a $3 kickback from the MEV value captured, effectively making their transaction cost-negative.
  • Charles appreciates that GasHawk focuses on addressing core issues at the transaction level, allowing users to interact with DeFi without needing to understand all the underlying complexities.
  • Dan agrees and elaborates on the importance of adding value at the transaction level. He shares his experience with ZenLedger, emphasizing that their goal was to make users feel comfortable and confident with their tax reports, allowing them to engage in various on-chain activities without worrying about tax implications. Similarly, GasHawk aims to make on-chain interactions more efficient, safe, and secure for everyone, regardless of what they are doing on chain.
  • Dan highlights the importance of solving core issues to facilitate the broader adoption of blockchain technology. He acknowledges the overinvestment in certain areas of the crypto space, such as wallets and L2 solutions, and believes that focusing on the transaction level can have a more significant impact. By providing a suite of services that address transaction fees, MEV protection, rebates, and other transaction-related issues, GasHawk aims to make it easier for individuals and institutions to interact on-chain confidently.
  • Dan adds that GasHawk’s goal is to be wallet-agnostic, DApp agnostic, and chain-agnostic, providing value to users regardless of what they are doing on-chain. This holistic approach aims to encourage more people to engage with blockchain technology by making the experience more user-friendly and secure.

Saving Millions in Transaction Fees

  • Charles asks if there is a scenario where using GasHawk could result in higher fees than executing a transaction without it.
  • Dan explains that while GasHawk aims to prevent such situations, it is not infallible. In time-sensitive transactions, fees might increase within the set deadline, potentially leading to higher costs. He mentions that longer deadlines generally result in higher savings due to more blocks available for optimization. Dan acknowledges that there are occasions where users might pay more with GasHawk, but overall, users save more on average. He outlines their approach to minimizing risks and maximizing savings, both for retail and institutional clients. For institutional clients, they analyze a 30-day window to calculate savings and invoice based on the total savings.
  • Charles asks if saving a million dollars over a month is realistic. Dan responds affirmatively, explaining that it depends on the protocol. He refers to the website “Ultrasound Money” to illustrate the high fees spent on Ethereum mainnet. He provides examples of significant savings for protocols like Uniswap, highlighting the potential for GasHawk to save millions in transaction fees.
  • Dan elaborates on GasHawk’s business model, which is designed to align with client savings. They do not charge setup or monthly fees but take a percentage of the savings generated. This model incentivizes GasHawk to maximize client savings. He further discusses how GasHawk identifies potential savings by analyzing on-chain data and presenting case studies to prospective clients. This approach demonstrates the substantial cost reductions GasHawk can achieve, making it an attractive proposition for protocols and companies with high transaction volumes.
  • Dan explains that GasHawk’s model leverages these high costs to offer significant savings, creating a compelling value proposition. He concludes by emphasizing the vast market potential for GasHawk’s services, considering the substantial expenses across various blockchain networks and layers.

Leading the Way in Transaction Optimization

  • Charles asks Dan about any security concerns that might arise with GasHawk.
  • Dan says that GasHawk is designed to be wallet agnostic, supporting various types of wallets including smart contract wallets and multisigs. He emphasizes that users maintain control over their wallets and signing processes, mitigating security risks. Dan mentions that GasHawk’s MEV protection adds an extra layer of security. He highlights their approach to building the service with security and usability in mind, based on their own experiences as power users.
  • Dan explains that GasHawk’s integration at the RPC level simplifies the user experience by providing multiple services without the need for multiple browser extensions.  
  • Charles asks about Dan’s excitement for future developments. Dan mentions his interest in account abstraction, smart contract wallets, and the broader adoption of GasHawk across multiple chains. He highlights their upcoming multi-chain support, which will enable seamless usage across different blockchain networks without changing RPCs.  

Check Out These Important Links

Show Information

  • Medium: Twitter (Audio)
  • Show: The Optimist Twitter Space 
  • Show Title: Cheaper On-Chain w/ GasHawk
  • Show Date: May 15, 2024