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#1: Account Abstraction. Everywhere. All At Once.

Welcome to the first issue of the abstracted. Account abstraction gave me a genuine reason to believe that onboarding the next billion users on web3 is more than just a pipe dream.

As an avid follower of the web3 ecosystem, I've come across the phrase "We'll onboard the next billion users" more times than I could count. TBH, it sounded like nothing more than a hollow promise to lure people in. Every time I heard that phrase, my brain would go like “Yeah, sure, now tell me what mundane ways you’ve found to shill your exclusively boring project”. However, that all changed when I came across account abstraction and the projects getting shaped around it.

Account abstraction and the projects embracing it genuinely piqued my interest and it finally gave me a reason to trust that onboarding the next billion users on web3 is more than just a pipe dream.

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So, you might be wondering, "who is behind the abstracted?

Well, let me introduce myself. I'm a seasoned digital marketing professional with 8 years of experience under my belt. I'm also a lifetime blockchain student, and I've been knee-deep in this space since 2018. I've contributed to over 10 blockchain projects, and I'm an official translator for

When I first met account abstraction, it was a love at first sight, if you will. I've been absolutely obsessed with it ever since.

And now, I've decided to share my journey with you because there's a serious lack of organized content out there on account abstraction. I will try my best to contribute to the ecosystem by aggregating relevant resources, establishing connections with People of AA and presenting updates about noteworthy projects. Shall we?

Here are the key highlights of the first issue:

  • a brief take on account abstraction and its background

  • the abstracted times: updates from the ecosystem

  • bite-sized bits: Antonio Ufano Gallego from zk-sync is explaining the difference between Externally Owned Accounts and Smart Contract Accounts in 60 seconds

  • explain me like i’m five: account abstraction for five year olds

  • yes, but: If web3 was an e-commerce website before the account abstraction

  • flashback hack: another private key compromise

A Brief Take on Account Abstraction

Account abstraction is a concept that allows developers to separate the control of a user's funds from the execution of smart contract code. In simpler terms, it means that users can interact with smart contracts without giving up control of their private keys. This approach has significant implications for the development of decentralized applications (dApps) and enhances the security of blockchain systems. In the next issues of the abstracted, we will explore the concept of account abstraction in greater detail, discussing how it works, its benefits, and its potential applications in the blockchain.

In essence, account abstraction allows a user to conduct transactions on a blockchain with full control over their assets but without having to deal with some of the challenges associated with blockchain technology. This includes tasks such as managing a private key (which involves creating and remembering a seed phrase), determining gas fees, manually submitting transactions, manually signing everything etc. Whether it's choosing the fee payment method or transaction approval mechanisms, account abstraction gives users the flexibility to customize their blockchain interactions to suit their specific needs.

But account abstraction wasn't always an option. In the Ethereum community, where the concept has been widely discussed, the lack of customization has been a major pain point for users. Specifically, the limitations of External Owned Accounts (EOA) and Smart Contract accounts have been a hurdle for many.

EOAs, for example, are made up of a cryptographic pair of keys. While this provides users with custody over their funds, it also means that if a key is lost or stolen, the account is likely lost forever. These restrictions have left little room for customization, leaving users unable to create custom logic to include more signers or authorize different keys to sign onto their accounts. This has created a very limiting scope for transactions.

Recognizing the need for greater flexibility, Vitalik Buterin has put forward multiple proposals for account abstraction, including ERC 4337 and EIP 2938. With these proposals, users can finally have the power to customize their blockchain interactions to suit their needs.

With account abstraction, the future of blockchain is looking brighter than ever. The ability to customize smart contract accounts means that users can have greater control over their funds and streamline their transactions in ways never before possible. As the Ethereum community continues to innovate and develop new solutions, the potential for account abstraction is limitless.

In the abstracted times, I will be presenting you with updates on projects that embrace the magic of account abstraction.

  • Opclave, a new smart contract prototype utilizing Apple secure enclave to sign and initiate Txs that turns your Apple products into a hardware wallet.

  • Ambire Wallet, an early smart contract wallet in the ecosystem, has achieved a significant milestone of 100,000 wallets created. 👏👏👏

  • Argent has enhanced user security by providing greater transparency regarding signed transactions and resulting balance changes, similar to the efforts of Fire. This feature will and must become an industry standard for all web3 wallets out there. [Source]

  • Candide Wallet offers on-chain account recovery, allowing for greater flexibility and the ability to secure your wallet with hardware wallets or through social recovery with family and close friends. [Source]

  • Castle Wallet, Argent, and Zengo have been selected as finalists in the Wallets & Security category of Alchemy's Web3 30 Awards. Argent won the award along with Coinbase Wallet, ENS, Metamask, Phantom and Zerion.

  • Fluvi Wallet is a full-featured Account Abstraction wallet that adheres to EIP-4337 public relayers/paymaster and is now accepting waitlist sign-ups.

  • Linen Wallet will provide support for Gnosis and Monerium within its platform, allowing users to connect their European bank accounts to Safe and establish a sovereign bank account to seamlessly enter and exit DeFi. [Source]

  • Mangos Wallet will soon launch the beta version of their wallet.

  • Pier Wallet has been selected by the Swiss Innovation Agency to participate in their Core Coaching program. [Source]

  • Pillar Wallet now supports @arbitrum. [Source]

  • Plena Wallet announced a Referral Program offering $1,000,000 worth of $PLENA tokens. [Source]

  • Soul Wallet successfully raised $3M from Ethereum builders and VCs to build a wallet powered by ERC-4337. [Source]

  • Stackup now supports ERC-4337 on @avalancheavax. [Source]

Antonio Ufano Gallego from zk-sync is explaining the differences between Externally Owned Accounts and Smart Contract Accounts on his workshop at ETHDenver 2023.

This is what “next billion users” have experienced so far. Yet, we claimed to onboard a billion of them with this UX 😕 Luckily, we have account abstraction now and the future is bright like a diamond 🎶

In flashback hack, I will be commemorating the victims of wallet hacks that took advantage of the single point of failure present in wallets that didn't utilize account abstraction.

OK, I was damn stupid that i gave this f*cker my secret phrases. I don’t use this account anymore. If you are watching this you mommyless f*cker, take my Ether and go f*ck yourself!” [Source]

If the victim used a wallet utilizing multi-sig powered by account abstraction, the hackers having the seed phrases would not be able to move any of the assets in the wallet since they would need the other wallets to approve transactions. But still, always be cautious and refrain from disclosing your seed phrases to anyone. Web3 Security 101.

That’s a wrap! 🌯 Hope you enjoyed the very first issue of the abstracted. A huge thanks from the bottom of my heart for reading this far. I’d be a happy homo sapien if you could give a follow on Twitter ❣️

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