What are gasless subdomains?

Everyone is familiar with unavoidable transaction fees, but what may be new is the concept of blockchain gas fees. Gas fees are a core element of the Ethereum blockchain. The term 'gas' refers to the computational effort required to complete and verify transactions on the blockchain.
The problem with gas is its price. If the network is busy, the price of gas rises—often to exorbitant amounts. While gas affects most ENS (Ethereum Name Service) names, gasless subdomains are able to avoid gas entirely, presenting an affordable solution to owning an ENS name.

What are gasless subdomains?

Gasless ENS subdomains (also called “subnames”) are ENS names that require no gas fees to create or edit. In terms of function, gasless subnames are very much comparable to any other ENS subname, but without the gas fees, making them an appealing alternative to many.

What makes them gasless?

Anyone who owns an ENS domain name can create subdomains from it. A subdomain created through the ENS app using a name like wixi.eth will require gas fees to create and edit. Gas is required in this instance because the subdomain exists on the Ethereum blockchain. Its information is stored on-chain. The upside to paying gas is having a trustless name. This means the subdomain owner does not need to trust a third party to handle or store the name.
Gasless subdomains, on the other hand, do not exist on-chain. This is possible thanks to a combination of CCIP-read standard (ERC-3668) and ENS wildcard resolution (ENSIP-10). Information about these subdomains is managed by centralized servers. By storing these names off-chain, subname owners can enjoy all the benefits of an on-chain ENS name without paying gas fees for claiming or editing text records. It's important to note, however, that because they reside in a centralized server (Namestone's for example) gasless subdomains are not trustless.

Why are they important?

Gasless subdomains greatly increase accessibility to web3 usernames for consumers who may not otherwise be able to afford one. As the world adopts a more decentralized, blockchain-based internet, it will be even more pertinent to offer affordable ways to interact with it. We explore this more in our other article.

How can I get a gasless name?

Given how quickly companies are moving to integrate gasless subdomains into their products, the chances of receiving one are growing exponentially. In fact, it's not absurd to imagine subnames as the future of usernames. Coinbase has already issued over 2 million gasless subdomains to its users. Other businesses, like NFT projects, have issued them as rewards to loyal customers. By simply exploring blockchain projects and businesses, you are exposing yourself to new opportunities to get a gasless web3 username.

Can I issue gasless subdomains to my community?

Yes. With NameStone, anyone can issue subdomains to their community. NameStone provides several options to do this. Whether you’re interested in a ready-made claim flow or a more integrated solution, we are happy to explore your options together.

Want to learn more?

NameStone is founded by Alex Slobodnik, who’s been working with ENS DAO since its beginning. Reach out to Alex on Twitter or Telegram to learn more about NameStone's powerful API and start issuing gasless subdomains today.