What is Account Abstraction?

Account abstraction is a blockchain technology that allows users to use smart contracts as their accounts.

In traditional blockchain systems, most users have an Externally Owned Account (EOA) as their default account. EOAs are accounts controlled by an external private key and are the default account model for most users on blockchain networks that use the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). On most blockchain networks using the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), only an EOA can trigger transactions so this is the default account model for most users, which can be a barrier for some users.

Unfortunately, EOAs require users to know a lot about how a blockchain works to use them safely. We can create much better user experiences using Contract Accounts.

Smart Contract Accounts (Smart Accounts)

On March 1st, Ethereum received a major new feature: account abstraction. This will enable a new “smart account” type that will remove the need for a 12-word phrase and make for a significantly easier and more secure user experience.

Smart Contract accounts offer a solution to this issue by providing a better user experience. They allow for the implementation of arbitrary verification logic, such as multi-sig verification, and enable sponsored transactions, where users can pay transaction fees in ERC-20 tokens or with custom fee logic. Contract accounts also provide enhanced security features, such as social recovery and time-locks, and enable atomic multi-operations, which allow users to complete multiple operations with a single transaction. Often contract accounts are called Smart Accounts.

What is a Smart Account?

A Smart Account (aka Smart Contract Account) is a fully customizable account. If you think of your regular bank account or crypto account, it uses keys to sign transactions. This means that anyone with the key (password, private key) can sign transactions and approve sending money out of your account.

If someone gained access to your username and password, they would have access to all your money. If you forget your password, then you have to go through a lengthy password reset process with a regular bank account. If it’s a crypto account, your money is gone forever.

A Smart Account is fully customizable, which means you can create any type of rule you want. The most common type of rule you can create is a multiple-signer account (also known as a multi-sig). For example, instead of having just one private key authorized to sign on behalf of your account, you can require multiple signers. In addition, you can add 2 other people you trust to be signers of your account. Then if you want to send any transactions, at least 2 of them have to approve the transaction.

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