The jury is still out on Vitalik’s account abstraction proposal

EIP-7702 was quickly adopted for the next Ethereum upgrade, but developers haven’t quite locked it down

article-image

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin | Alexey Smyshlyaev/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

share

It’s not yet clear when Ethereum’s next major upgrade will hit mainnet, with current estimates ranging from November this year to early 2025 — although the latter now seems more likely.

The first step in shoring up a timeline for “Pectra” is to finalize the specification of all Ethereum Improvement Proposals that are to be included.

While most of that work has been done, one item was identified on Thursday’s All Core Developers (ACD) call as “the number one outstanding spec issue for Pectra,” and that’s EIP-7702: Set EOA account code for one transaction.

This proposal allows an Externally Owned Account (EOA) — think a normal wallet like MetaMask — to temporarily function as a smart contract for a single transaction. EOAs are accounts controlled by private keys, and smart contracts are code that runs on the blockchain — in this case Ethereum.

EIP-7702 aims to merge some functionalities of both for enhanced flexibility and security.

One example is gasless transactions, where a dapp sets an EOA to allow a third party (such as an operator or sponsor) to cover the fees for a transaction.

The EIP was offered by Ethereum developers, including Vitalik Buterin, in early May and is set to replace an earlier contentious attempt to enable similar features.

Read more: Vitalik rallies support for temporary smart wallets on Ethereum

The upgrade is designed with a future based around account abstraction in mind, avoiding unnecessary complexities and ensuring forward compatibility with further user experience improvements.​ 

During the ACD call, developers discussed the integration challenges and potential risks associated with EIP-7702.

Sudeep Kumar from the Erigon team suggested an account-based revocation system that would be “keeping track of the template addresses that [the user] revoked.”

Geth developer Lightclient suggested such a feature could be implemented as an ERC, not in-protocol.

Other developers voiced concerns over the complexity and potential for scope creep with EIP-7702, depending on which version was ultimately adopted. Some developers argued for bringing over certain features from the earlier EIP-3704 that it is meant to replace.

But Safe co-founder Richard Meissner praised the simplicity of 7702, pointing out it “has no onchain impact, [so] you can deprecate it much easier.”

Marius van der Wijden from Geth expressed reservations about encouraging the use of an account as both a smart account and EOA simultaneously, and Meissner agreed.

“Having both feels very dangerous when it comes to specifying it,” Meissner said.

The consensus was to resolve these issues by the next ACD call to ensure timely implementation for Devnet 2 — the third of many small developer testnets.

That call is scheduled for July 4 — Independence Day in the US — but all American developers in attendance indicated that any backyard barbecuing duties wouldn’t get in the way of Ethereum’s progress.


Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

AERODROME TEMPLATE.png

Research

Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495M in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.

article-image

And a look into the newest name on the Trump ticket: Sen. JD Vance

article-image

Plus, Imran Khan’s intriguing experiment on the speeds of crypto onramps

article-image

The SEC has signaled a timeline to issuers that could lead to a July 23 launch for the ETH funds, people close to the process told Blockworks

article-image

PayPal has unequivocally made a name for itself as a crypto adopter among fintech giants

article-image

Also, a look into how the highly-debated SAB 121 could end up shaking out for crypto custodians

article-image

Vance, an Ohio Republican, is largely seen as crypto-friendly