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Ethereum Lead Dev Shares Crucial Message on Account Abstraction

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Sat, 4/05/2024 - 16:55
Ethereum Lead Dev Shares Crucial Message on Account Abstraction
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Ether developer Yoav Weiss has shared some notes on Ethereum’s road map for account abstraction.

In his post, Weiss gives a detailed overview of ERC-4337, what led to its development as well as Ether team’s future plans.

What is ERC-4337?

The ERC-4337 standard enables smart contract crypto wallets on the Ethereum blockchain, enhancing user experience with decentralized applications (dApps).

The concept, introduced by the Ethereum team led by Vitalik Buterin, aims to transition assets exclusively to smart contracts rather than externally-owned accounts (EOAs).

ERC-4337 introduces a "pseudo-transaction" object called a UserOperation, facilitating transactions on behalf of users and stored in an "alt mempool" until confirmation. This initiative marks a significant step toward improving the usability of Ethereum for dApps and smart contract interactions.

Brief history

Weiss discussed the origins and evolution of ERC-4337, highlighting the journey from Vitalik Buterin's initial proposal to the current focus on standardizing account abstraction (AA) across Layer 2 (L2) networks.

The development stemmed from the realization of wallet fragmentation due to custom implementations of AA by various L2 networks, prompting the need for a protocol-level standard like ERC-4337.

The road map now includes Rollup Improvement Proposals (RIPs), notably RIP-7560, aimed at facilitating the migration of L2 chains to native AA. RIP-7560 is being refined into separate optional RIPs to streamline the implementation process and address specific use cases like validation, 2D nonces, aggregation and EOA (externally-owned accounts) enhancements.

Future

The current focus has predominantly been on L2 adoption, but there's acknowledgment of the value in implementing AA on Ethereum's Layer 1 (L1). The plan is to gradually transition L2 chains to RIP-7560 while Ethereum L1 continues with ERC-4337, ensuring compatibility and a smooth migration process over time.

Weiss emphasized the importance of collaboration with L1 core developers, L2 developers, and the broader community to refine RIP-7560 and ensure a successful implementation across both Ethereum L1 and L2.

Feedback from developers working on the Ethereum Object Format (EOF) is particularly sought to optimize the clean separation between protocol and user-facing aspects in RIP-7560.

Buterin's take

Vitalik Buterin outlined four main goals for an account system revamp on Ethereum, emphasizing the need for key rotation and deprecation, quantum resistance, batching and support for sponsored transactions.

He highlighted the limitations of Ethereum's current end user account (EOA) model in achieving these goals, underscoring the necessity to transition the entire Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) ecosystem toward smart contract accounts (SCAs).

Buterin expressed a desire to avoid creating two separate developer ecosystems for smart contract wallets and EOAs, emphasizing the importance of cohesion and interoperability within Ethereum's development landscape.

The Ethereum core developers have recognized the importance of delivering incremental feature upgrades to enhance user experience in the short term, while simultaneously advancing a longer-term road map for Ethereum's evolution.

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