Smart accounts on the Ethereum blockchain are coming a lot sooner than expected.
In a surprise announcement made at WalletCon in ETH Denver on Mar. 1, the Ethereum Foundation revealed the implementation of ERC-4337, CoinDesk reported on Tuesday.
You're in for a big surprise
— John Rising (@johnrising_) February 25, 2023
It was deployed by means of an “EntryPoint” smart contract, according to blockchain data from Etherscan, and has undergone a full security audit. The feature is expected to be available to all Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchains like Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism and Avalanche.
ERC-4337 enables account abstraction without the need for consensus-layer protocol changes. Account abstraction means that users’ cryptographic keys can be stored on standard smartphone security modules, allowing users to sign transactions using a fingerprint or face scan.
If a user has lost their device, they can set up a time-locked social recovery of their account through a trusted group or service by setting up a “multi-sig” wallet. Essentially, the new functionality will make crypto more user friendly, and potentially mean the end of noting down a complicated 12-word seed phrase.
The feature combines user accounts and smart contract accounts to make user accounts function like smart contracts. In fact, it forms a crucial part of payments giant Visa’s own crypto strategy to enable auto payments for self-custodial wallets.
The proposal to bring account abstraction to life has been in the works for close to two years now. Earlier versions of the proposal included complicated protocol changes, and potentially a fork of Ethereum itself. That is, until September 2021, when the network’s creator Vitalik Buterin proposed relying on a separate mempool or a bundle marketplace instead to make it work.
The good news is that we're narrowing down toward an actual path for account abstraction, something we've always wanted but have not managed to actually have!
And with the "carrot" of cost savings in rollups with signature aggregation, there's finally an incentive to adopt it.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 1, 2022