Everything About Account Abstraction: ERC-4337 discussion, gas consumption & challenges, ZK Stack, Coinbase’s L2 mainnet, mysterious Safe deployments

Everything About Account Abstraction: ERC-4337 discussion, gas consumption & challenges, ZK Stack, Coinbase’s L2 mainnet, mysterious Safe deployments

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July 5, 2023

We are welcoming you to our weekly digest! Here we discuss the latest trends and advancements in account abstraction, as well as bring some insights from Etherspot's kitchen.

Please fasten your belts!

Comparative study sheds light on gas consumption across different ERC-4337 implementations

In an academic report comparing gas consumption across different account abstraction implementations, authors have examined the performance of several Software Development Kits (SDKs).

The researchers analyzed gas costs for the following actions:

  • wallet deployment;
  • native token transfer;
  • ERC20 transfer;
  • NFT minting;
  • NFT transfer;
  • swaps.

The transactions were performed on the Mumbai Testnet, emphasizing that results are specific to this test environment and may not directly reflect the gas costs on the Ethereum mainnet.

The ZeroDev Kernel contracts were evaluated using the Stackup bundler and UserOp.js.

Etherspot and Biconomy contracts were tested using their respective SDKs, ensuring that the gas costs reflect the specific implementation details of each SDK.

SimpleAccount contracts underwent tests using both Stackup’s and Pimlico’s bundlers.

In this exercise, UserOps using Paymasters were not considered. The tested Gnosis Safe contract was Candide Wallet’s implementation.

This comprehensive evaluation seeks to document the extent of gas consumption by smart wallets during different operations compared to externally owned accounts (EOAs).

The report underscores that gas consumption is a crucial factor to consider when developing and deploying smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, as different implementations can have varying gas costs for various operations.

In our continuous effort to keep you updated with the latest in Ethereum protocol development, we are excited to share a fascinating discussion from the recent ERC4337 dev call — ERC4337 Core Devs call — Meeting #12.

Developers’ discussion on plans and challenges for ERC-4337

In a recent conversation in the 4337 Mafia group on Telegram, developers engaged in a discussion about plans and challenges related to ERC-4337 wallets. The most active participants were Vitalik Buterin, Richard from Safe, and Jayden from Soul Wallet.

They explored the idea of reusing modules, discussed the importance of standardization and compatibility, and shared insights on optimizing gas usage and customizing authorization processes. The conversation also touched on the need for tooling, testing, and establishing standards before considering a new language or DSL.

The developers behind ERC-4337 emphasized maximizing code reuse, collaboration, and the importance of aligning standards and tooling for smart contract wallets.

You can find the whole discussion here.

zkSync launches ZK Stack

Matter Labs has launched ZK Stack, a codebase that builds upon zkSync Era, its Ethereum zk-rollup.

ZK Stack, introduced on June 26, allows developers to create interconnected blockchains, known as Hyperchains, using zero-knowledge proofs.

Hyperchains aim to scale Ethereum while offering customizable chains with high security.

With ZK Stack being open source, developers can adapt Hyperchains to their specific needs, creating Layer 2 or Layer 3 networks with diverse functionalities.

Matter Labs is also introducing Hyperbridges to facilitate efficient cross-chain swaps.

The launch of ZK Stack marks Matter Labs’ strategic shift towards engaging independent developers to contribute to the zkSync ecosystem.

Coinbase’s layer-2 protocol, Base, nears mainnet launch

Coinbase’s new layer-2 protocol, Base, is nearing its mainnet launch, fulfilling four of the five criteria necessary. These include:

  1. completion of rigorous internal and external security audits over six months;
  2. “Regolith” hard fork in testnet;
  3. successful infrastructure review with OP labs (the team behind the Optimism technology that powers Base)
  4. Optimism’s “Bedrock” upgrade.

The protocol’s security team conducted an internal audit to “battle-test” Optimism’s tech stack and identify potential vulnerabilities.

They also invited the broader community to participate in a public smart contract audit test via Code4rena to discover bugs in the tech stack, which ran from May 27 to June 10 and offered up to $100,000 in rewards for successful bounty hunters.

The final criterion to be fulfilled before the mainnet launch is the demonstration of “testnet stability.” Base is currently examining submissions from the 100 researchers who participated in the public smart contract audit, in addition to reviews from past audit programs.

They have also built Pessimism, an open-source monitoring tool, to detect any anomalies that might arise in the protocol.

Sequence wallet integrates EIP-4337, EIP-1271, EIP-6492 in latest upgrade

Sequence Wallet has recently undergone a significant upgrade, incorporating EIP-4337, EIP-1271, and EIP-6492.

Key to the upgrade is the Light Wallet Sync feature, which tackles the issue of state synchronization across multiple networks. By using proto-state channels, information can be shared across all networks simultaneously, mitigating the problem of out-of-sync states when changes are made to smart contract wallets.

In terms of compatibility, the integration of EIP-4337, EIP-1271, and EIP-6492 in Sequence Wallet’s infrastructure brings along significant improvements.

These EIPs enable advanced features such as:

  • universal relayers;
  • message signing by smart contract wallets;
  • ability for these wallets to sign messages even when not deployed.

All this ensures a seamless user experience across different chains and various decentralized applications.

Worldcoin caused mysterious Safe deployments

Worldcoin confirmed that a series of Safe deployments to the Optimism network was due to their app migration, dispelling Twitter speculations about a potential attack.

Safe is a multi-signature smart contract wallet often used by development teams.

Worldcoin, known for its extensive use of Safes and gas-free transactions, recently announced its app migration from Polygon to Optimism.

Over six days, numerous sub-accounts were created, each performing thousands of transactions, mainly creating new Safe wallets.

Some Twitter users suggested this could be a Sybil attack or address-farming technique. But Tiago Sada, head of product for Worldcoin developer Tools for Humanity, clarified that the deployments were part of their migration process.

The transformative potential of EVM-compatible chains

Alex Shevchenko, CEO of Aurora Labs, unveiled the transformative potential of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible chains. According to the developer, these chains, addressing issues of scalability, interoperability, and transaction speed, are advancing the evolution of blockchain technology​​.

EVM-compatible chains have gained credibility by enabling seamless data exchange with other platforms, a boon for developers benefiting from a rich ecosystem of development tools​​.

Scalability, crucial for decentralized applications (dapps), is being achieved through innovative solutions like running multiple EVMs concurrently​​.

EVM-compatible chains are impacting the decentralized finance (DeFi) system, opening opportunities for developers and users by improving scalability and reducing transaction fees​​.

For newcomers, the usability of blockchain is being improved through innovations like meta-transactions and account abstractions, simplifying interactions and reducing complexities associated with blockchain mechanics​​.

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