Ethereum Account Abstraction: Helping Users Have A Great Experience

Ethereum Account Abstraction represents Ethereum’s forward-looking approach to innovation, positioning itself at the forefront of the ever-evolving blockchain landscape. To comprehend its importance, let’s break down this intricate concept into simpler terms with Coincu, offering clarity on how it shapes the future of Ethereum.

Ethereum Account Abstraction: Helping Users Have A Great Experience

What is Account Abstraction?

Ethereum Account Abstraction 

In a groundbreaking development for the Ethereum network, the concept of Account Abstraction (AA) has taken center stage, offering users unprecedented flexibility in managing their transactions. This innovative proposal allows for the conversion of traditional account types into smart contracts, each equipped with its own logic to independently determine the validity of transactions, handle transaction fees, and initiate transactions.

A Paradigm Shift in Ethereum Accounts

In the realm of computer science, these accounts are aptly termed “abstracted,” giving rise to the term Account Abstraction. The core idea behind this paradigm shift is to eliminate the conventional practice of using a single account for all purposes. Instead, the proposal advocates for a separation between the entities responsible for holding tokens (accounts) and those authorizing or allowing token transactions (signers).

This strategic move aims to empower users with the ability to tailor their accounts to suit their individual needs. Users who seek alternative signature verification algorithms, employ multiple keys for transaction authorization, or regularly change account signers can now create separate accounts to seamlessly manage these aspects.

Vitalik Buterin’s Journey from EIP-86 to EIP-4337

While the concept of Account Abstraction is not entirely new, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin first introduced it in the EIP-86 proposal back in 2017. However, the initial proposal required extensive protocol changes, making implementation challenging. Subsequently, Buterin refined the concept with EIP-2938 and the latest iteration, EIP-4337, streamlining the deployment process.

Notably, two prominent projects have officially embraced the application of Account Abstraction: StarkNet and zkSync version 2.0. These Layer 2 projects are at the forefront of adopting this transformative approach, signaling a new era in Ethereum’s evolution.

Ethereum Account Abstraction: Helping Users Have A Great Experience

Overview of Ethereum Account Abstraction

Unveiling the Challenges of Web3 Wallets

While the crypto landscape continues to advance, the user experience of Web3 wallets has become a focal point for criticism and concern. Unlike the seamless onboarding processes of Web2, where users sign up with an email and password, Web3 introduces complexities that hinder its widespread adoption.

One of the primary disadvantages of Web3 wallets is the perceived difficulty of their use. Users are faced with the necessity of downloading a Chrome extension, safeguarding a set of 12 secret words with the utmost care, incurring transaction fees for every interaction, and being required to sign messages that may appear cryptic and unfamiliar.

Not friendly with many barriers

The user-unfriendly nature of Web3 has long been acknowledged within the community, recognizing that a challenging user experience poses a significant barrier to adoption. Striking a balance between simplifying the Web3 experience and maintaining the ethos of a decentralized, user-owned internet has historically presented a formidable challenge.

Ethereum Account Abstraction was born

However, a transformative shift is underway within the Ethereum ecosystem, notably in the form of account abstraction, often associated with the ERC-4337 proposal. While the technical intricacies are left to the experts, this article aims to dissect the innovative concept, shed light on its use cases, and demonstrate how it addresses the complexities of Web3, making it more accessible and secure.

Account abstraction signifies a new evolution within Web3, offering a potential solution to the drawbacks that have hindered its adoption. By simplifying processes and enhancing user security, this development marks a crucial step towards making Web3 more user-friendly, ultimately contributing to the broader goal of achieving a decentralized and user-owned internet.

Understanding Ethereum Accounts Abstraction

Types of Ethereum accounts

On Ethereum blockchain, users navigate through a dualistic account system comprised of External Owned Accounts (EOA) and Contract Accounts (CA). Distinguished by their functionalities and control mechanisms, these accounts play pivotal roles in the decentralized ecosystem.

At the forefront of user-centric interactions within the Ethereum network are External Owned Accounts (EOA). Users are bestowed with a unique pair of public and private keys, forming the bedrock of security and ownership. Only individuals possessing the private key hold the authority to initiate transactions. This approach ensures a secure and personalized transactional experience for users.

Familiar names within the EOA realm include popular wallet products such as Metamask, WalletConnect, Phantom, and Martian. These platforms empower users with the ability to seamlessly manage their digital assets, providing a gateway to the vast array of decentralized applications (DApps) and services available on the Ethereum blockchain.

In contrast, Contract Accounts (CA) operate under a different paradigm. Governed by code logic through smart contracts, these accounts lack private keys, rendering them incapable of independently initiating transactions. Instead, they serve as the backbone of various dApps, such as Uniswap and LIDO, executing predefined commands upon receiving messages from users (EOA).

Unlike EOAs, CAs rely on the ingenuity of smart contract developers who embed specific functionalities within the code. Users interact with these contracts through EOAs, triggering the execution of predetermined actions. This intricate dance of messages and responses forms the foundation of the dynamic and multifaceted Ethereum ecosystem.

The coexistence of EOAs and CAs fosters a harmonious environment within the Ethereum blockchain. EOAs provide individuals with a personalized and secure means of interacting with the decentralized world, while CAs form the backbone of innovative DApps that drive the blockchain’s evolution.

Ethereum Account Abstraction: Helping Users Have A Great Experience

Characteristics of Ethereum accounts


EOAs, governed by a public-private key pair, grant ownership to the individual possessing the private key, enabling them to manage assets stored within the account.

A pivotal element of an EOA lies in its seed phrase, a unique string of 12, 18, or 24 randomly generated words that comes into existence during the wallet setup process. This seed phrase plays a crucial role in the generation of the private key, a cryptographic key necessary to sign transactions within the Ethereum network.

To fortify the security of their digital wealth, account owners are advised to store their seed phrases offline, thereby shielding them from potential hacks and thefts. In the event of a lost private key, the seed phrase becomes the sole mechanism for regenerating the private key and reclaiming access to the stored assets.

Operating on the principle that Ethereum can only undergo a state transition when prompted by an EOA-initiated transaction, the network requires EOAs to facilitate these changes, with users paying the requisite gas fees in Ether. This mechanism not only ensures the security of individual assets but also underscores the decentralized nature of Ethereum’s operations.


One distinctive characteristic of contract accounts lies in their lack of a private key or seed phrase, differentiating them from traditional wallets. Unlike standalone wallets, contract accounts cannot independently initiate transactions. Instead, they rely on the activation of their smart contract code, triggered by a transaction from an EOA.

The essence of contract account functionality is revealed in their ability to execute specific actions only when prompted by an external transaction. While this grants users unparalleled flexibility in tailoring transactional processes, it also introduces a unique operational requirement.

To operate a contract account, users must maintain an EOA equipped with an ETH balance, as this serves as the driving force for executing actions within the contract.

This operational dynamic, however, introduces a level of inconvenience for users compared to operating a standalone EOA. The necessity to manage both an EOA and a contract account, coupled with the prerequisite ETH balance, underscores the nuanced nature of contract account operation.

General characteristics

  • Understanding the role of nonce as a counter in both account types
  • How it ensures transactions are executed only once and its unique representation for Contract accounts
  • A comprehensive look at the significance of balance in reflecting the ETH ownership of both account types
  • Exploring the role of balance as a fundamental metric in account management
  • Unveiling the significance of codeHash, a unique identifier derived from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) code
  • How Contract accounts leverage codeHash to execute scripted operations, with a focus on its immutability
  • Understanding the critical role of storageRoot, also known as the storage hash, in encrypting content hashes on an account
  • The non-negotiable nature of storageRoot and its importance in maintaining the integrity of account data

Ethereum accounts and private keys

The private key, which serves as the linchpin of a user’s account, holds critical importance in the realm of cryptocurrency. Losing this private key translates to forfeiting control over the entire account, along with all the tokens housed within it. The ramifications of such a loss are dire, as users find themselves virtually powerless in attempting recovery.

The stark reality is that millions of dollars have already been lost or stolen due to incidents directly tied to compromised private keys. The loss of this cryptographic key not only jeopardizes the financial standing of individuals but also underscores the urgent need for enhanced security measures within the cryptocurrency landscape.

Ethereum Account Abstraction: How It Works


Ethereum Account Abstraction aims to empower users with unprecedented control over their transactions and enhance wallet security by infusing them with the capabilities of smart contracts.

Central to this paradigm shift is Ethereum Improvement Proposal ERC-4337, which extends the functionality of wallets far beyond the traditional role of signing transactions. Among its myriad capabilities are gas sponsoring, batch transactions, batch approvals, batch revoking, and more, providing users with a versatile array of options to streamline their wallet management.

Ethereum Account Abstraction: Helping Users Have A Great Experience

Resolution Approval

At its core, Ethereum Account Abstraction seeks to supplant the conventional EOAs that currently govern most crypto wallets. EOAs necessitate external approval for every action undertaken by the wallet, akin to having a financial advisor seek permission for each transaction, no matter how trivial. While this ostensibly ensures control, it often becomes an irksome and cumbersome process, akin to approving office supply purchases.

The Ethereum Account Abstraction protocol addresses this inconvenience, ushering in a new era for Ethereum users. By eliminating the need for constant external approval, it promises a more seamless and user-friendly experience. However, it’s important to note that this protocol is still in its infancy.

Leverage DeFi resources

Smart contract wallets leveraging Ethereum Account Abstraction are beginning to emerge, signifying the initial stages of this transformative upgrade. However, the true success of Ethereum Account Abstraction hinges on its widespread adoption by dApp developers. For a genuine revolution in the web3 user experience, developers must build with these new standards in mind, embracing the potential of this innovative protocol.

Ethereum Account Abstraction use cases

Ethereum account abstraction introduces a paradigm shift in the crypto landscape, offering innovative solutions to longstanding challenges. Here’s a breakdown of the game-changing use cases:

Gas Sponsoring

One of the standout features of account abstraction is transaction sponsoring, which addresses the issue of exorbitant gas fees during peak network congestion.

With this mechanism, applications or third parties can cover users’ gas fees, potentially making transactions not only cheaper but, in some instances, entirely free. This approach simplifies the onboarding process for new users, allowing them to engage in on-chain transactions without the complexities associated with exchanges.

Bid Farewell to Seed Phrases

Ethereum account abstraction pioneers social recovery, eliminating the need for users to memorize or securely store seed phrases. Trusted contacts can collectively assist in wallet recovery, providing a safety net in case of forgotten credentials.

This revolutionary feature contrasts sharply with the pre-ERC-4337 era, where the loss of a seed phrase meant irreversible asset forfeiture. Now, designated contacts or even other controlled wallets can facilitate secure recovery, akin to a two-factor authentication process.

Automated Transactions

Wallets leveraging account abstraction can automate transactions, streamlining processes like dollar-cost averaging and setting limit orders. This functionality allows users to effortlessly execute predetermined strategies, such as monthly Ether purchases, reducing the impact of price volatility.

Batch Transactions

Ethereum account abstraction empowers users to bundle multiple operations into a single transaction, a particularly valuable feature for engaging with complex DeFi protocols like Uniswap. This one-click approach enhances convenience, akin to settling an entire restaurant bill with a single card swipe, despite numerous individual orders.


Enhanced Security

Security takes center stage with account abstraction’s batch token approval revoking. Users can swiftly revoke multiple token approvals, bolstering protection against malicious entities exploiting unchecked token allowances. This added layer of security ensures quick responses to potential exploits, minimizing the risk of falling victim to scams in the Web3 environment.

Spending Limits

By introducing spending limits, Ethereum account abstraction mitigates the risks associated with unlimited token approvals. Users can set caps on token approvals, preventing unauthorized access to their assets.

These spending limits can be applied to single transactions, specific time periods, or even combined with multi-signature capabilities, adding an extra layer of security against potential breaches.


In summary, the introduction of Ethereum account abstraction marks a pivotal moment in the realm of blockchain technology. This innovative feature not only streamlines interactions with the Ethereum network but also elevates the standards of security, customization, and flexibility.

As developers delve into the myriad possibilities unlocked by account abstraction, the future promises a blockchain experience that is not only more user-friendly but also laden with a rich array of features. With each stride in this transformative direction, Ethereum propels us closer to the realization of widespread blockchain adoption, reshaping the landscape of decentralized technologies for the better.

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