A high-impact solution without consensus-level protocol changes.
The idea of implementing Account Abstraction on the Ethereum network has been around since 2016 (EIPs 86 and 1014). The solutions outlined in previous proposals require consensus-level protocol changes at a time when efforts are focused on testing the Merge.
Co-authored by Vitalik Buterin, Yoav Weiss, Namra Patel, Dror Tirosh, and Kristof Gazso, the EIP aims to achieve Account Abstraction by replicating the functionality of the transaction mempool in a higher-level system. This moves a significant portion of the verification logic from individual transactions originated from an Externally Owned Account (EOA) to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
The implementation for the latest proposal is already available to test on the Ethereum Nethermind client. Click the link below to deploy a wallet using EIP-4337.
Why Account Abstraction matters
The shift from EOAs to smart contract wallets with arbitrary verification logic paves the way for a series of improvements to wallet designs, as well as reducing complexity for end users. Some of the improvements Account Abstraction brings include:
- Paying for transactions in currencies other than ETH
- The ability for third parties to cover transaction fees
- Support for more efficient signature schemes (Schnorr, BLS) as well as quantum-safe ones (Lamport, Winternitz)
- Support for multisig transations
- Support for social recovery
Previous solutions relied on centralized relay services or a steep gas overhead, which inevitably fell on the users' EOA.
EIP-4337 is a collaborative effort between the Ethereum Foundation, OpenGSN, and Nethermind to achieve Account Abstraction in a user-friendly, decentralized way.
You can find out more about this proposal and how it works by reading the following articles: