Being a somewhat new concept in the space, account abstraction is rapidly gaining adoption. Both StarkNet and zkSync are launching their mainnets with a native account abstraction feature. But what is Account abstraction?
Read on to find out.
What is Account Abstraction
To bring you up to speed in the quickest and simplest way possible, account abstraction is a feature that moves crypto and blockchain from the current state of one-account-fits-all to a new paradigm where an account can be designed to someone’s needs.
The current state of the blockchain is such that you can lose everything with just one small mistake. Account abstraction allows the users to build a safety net for self custody and hence, reduce the chances of lost seed phrases or hacks by a great deal.
Ethereum network has two types of accounts: Externally Owned Accounts (EOA) and Contract Accounts (CA). EOAs are the accounts normal users have, while CAs belong to DeFi protocols and DApps.
EOAs have three unique properties: a balance, a nonce and an address.
For EOA account owners to prove ownership, they have to have the private keys. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been lost due to lost private keys.
You, as the account signer, have to be in possession of the private key in order to sign and authorize transactions. As it is, the signer and the account are coupled, but this coupling also has a lot of problems, which include losing the private key.
How Account Abstraction Works
Account abstraction decouples the signer from the account by turning accounts into smart contracts. The accounts will have their own logic that defines what a valid transaction is. As long as the account (now a smart contract) works with a specific interface and meets the requirements of defined methods to validate and execute transactions, then the transaction will go through.
Why Is It Important?
- You can change the signer of your account every week with just a change of the smart contract code.
- You can modify your wallet to use more than one private key for transaction authorization.
- You can change the transaction signing scheme from ECDSA to whichever you want.
The possibilities for account abstraction are endless. With such an upgrade to the network, more people will be inclined to try out crypto and blockchain as security will have been beefed up. Argent wallet is one the leading crypto wallets trying out this security technology. In addition to that they support both StarkNet and zkSync L2 networks.
Vincent Munene is a freelance writer and a great blockchain enthusiast. Blockchain has changed his life in terms of financial freedom and in return, he likes to educate people and keep them up to date on everything blockchain. He is a Biochemist by profession and also loves to play the piano.