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Watch Out For Account Abstraction in 2023
Osgur Murphy O Kane
Key Takeaways
9 min read

Account Abstraction (AA) sounds boring - but its not. It is potentially one of most exciting developments for the crypto industry.

AA aims to unify both account types (EOAs and contract accounts). This means that user’s wallets can have arbitrary functionality implemented into them. This opens up a world of possibilities, such as:

  • Social recovery
  • Wallet security measures e.g. daily tx limits
  • Batched transactions
  • Plug-ins
  • Session keys
  • And more! The design space is open.

This has the potential to completely transform the Web3 UX (from both a security and usability standpoint) and finally make it suitable for mass adoption.

Current Model: Externally Owned Accounts

Ethereum today has two types of accounts:

  • Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs)
    • These are the wallets that you and I typically use.
  • Contract accounts
    • Smart contracts (e.g. an ERC-20 token, a staking contract, Gnosis Safe etc) that are governed by code. Contract accounts cannot initiate transactions themselves.

A key issue with EOAs is that if the user forgets their password/seed phrase the account is lost forever.

In addition, if someone gains access to your keys, they have total control over the account. These accounts leave no margin for error and have been the cause of significant losses.

Furthermore, EOAs have very limited functionality and **cannot be...