Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has deployed a new feature called “account abstraction” to make it easier for users to recover their crypto if they lose their private keys to an online wallet. The new standard, known as ERC-4337, was deployed via a smart contract called EntryPoint, which has undergone a full security audit. The Ethereum Foundation, which funds and stewards development on the blockchain, is expected to formally announce the development at the ETHDenver conference on Wednesday.
Account abstraction turns users’ wallets into smart contract accounts to prevent any loss of crypto keys and make Ethereum wallets more user-friendly. This is seen as a major milestone that was expected to be years away but is now working on the Ethereum blockchain.
The new feature merges External Owned Accounts (EOA) and Contract Accounts (CA) to create built-in mechanisms that allow users to keep access to their crypto. EOAs are the type of account used if you open a MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet. With EOAs, users are given a pair of private and public keys, and only the owner of their account, the person who has access to their private keys, can initiate transactions. CAs, on the other hand, are accounts controlled by code, not private keys, so they cannot initiate transactions themselves.
New Era of Blockchain Security
However, the issue with EOAs comes down to human error. If a user loses their private keys, there is no way to recover that. Account abstraction addresses this issue by merging EOAs with CAs to create a social recovery system. Several users have the ability to return access to an account should someone lose their personal private key. Account abstraction also allows users to create “multisig wallets” that give a group of users access to an account and require multiple users to sign off on transactions as an extra safety mechanism.
The deployment of account abstraction on Ethereum is a significant development as it paves the way for other blockchain networks to follow suit. The fact that it was so easy to deploy without requiring any changes to Ethereum’s underlying programming means that it can be adopted by other networks quickly.
The announcement of the new feature is expected to lead to several infrastructure providers announcing plans to support ERC-4337 through their services. Ethereum users can expect to see more user-friendly wallets and increased security measures as a result of this development.