Everything About Account Abstraction: Visa simplifies gas fees, BNB Chain hard forks, Everscale’s AA, ERC4337 Core Devs call #15 and X Spaces AMA with EF, Etherspot & Fuse

Everything About Account Abstraction: Visa simplifies gas fees, BNB Chain hard forks, Everscale’s AA, ERC4337 Core Devs call #15 and X Spaces AMA with EF, Etherspot & Fuse

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August 16, 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!

Visa introduces solution to simplify Ethereum gas fees

Global payments giant Visa has embarked on an experimental solution on Ethereum’s Goerli testnet, introducing a profound shift in how users manage gas fees.

Utilizing Account Abstraction technology and the ERC-4337 standard, Visa’s solution removes the requirement for users to hold Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency (ETH) for transaction or gas fees, even allowing payments with various tokens such as USDC or USDT.

Managing ETH balance for gas fees has often perplexed users, with fluctuating costs leading to overpayment or underpayment. Visa’s innovative approach seeks to streamline this process by making it possible for the wallet itself to cover gas expenses directly. This system even integrates with Visa cards, allowing payments without native blockchain tokens.

Visa’s approach centers around a “paymaster” smart contract, a concept they have explored before. This smart contract functions as a sponsor for gas fees, further simplifying the payment process.

According to Mustafa Bedawala, staff product manager at Visa, this enhanced system builds on prior developments by the company. The method is likely to significantly reduce friction in Ethereum payments, offering a more seamless experience for crypto participants.

This development follows Visa’s continued interest in account abstraction, which had initially been expressed in a blog post in December 2022. The significant progress made by developers in March 2023, introducing ERC-4337, has enabled this current news.

Visa’s solution promises to be a landmark in improving accessibility and user-friendliness within the crypto landscape. It not only abstracts away the complexities tied to fluctuating gas fees but also makes the entire payment process more aligned with traditional payment methods, a move that could attract more mainstream users to the crypto ecosystem.

BNB Chain hard forks to elevate security and EVM compatibility

Binance’s BNB Chain is taking a bold step forward. With two hard forks planned this month, the network is set to improve finality and enhance compatibility with other Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchain networks.

The first fork, Plato, was executed on August 10th, introducing BEP-126. A revolutionary mechanism that rules out the ability for blocks to be reverted, its implementation marks a significant evolution in blockchain security.

A senior solution architect at BNB Chain, Arno Bauer, detailed the fast finality mechanism’s effects: “BEP-126 aims to enhance blockchain security and efficiency on the BNB Smart Chain,” said Bauer. This innovation isn’t simply an advancement; it is a groundbreaking stride toward a more trustworthy and efficient blockchain network.

Finality — the point at which a block or transaction cannot be altered or reversed — is essential in preserving trust in blockchain systems. BEP-126 achieves this by proposing a block, propagating it to validators, and then initiating a complex voting and aggregation process. This labyrinthine series of events, while intricate, ensures accuracy, stabilization, and integrity.

Validators adhere to specific voting rules; any violation results in them being slashed. This strict protocol is a reminder that transparency and accountability are paramount in the blockchain community.

The second fork, Hertz, is slated for August 30th. This isn’t just a technical upgrade; it’s a strategic move to keep BNB Chain abreast of the latest developments in EVM blockchains.

The need to align with Ethereum’s recently implemented Berlin and London forks underscores the importance of adaptability in the rapidly changing blockchain landscape. “Compatibility reasons” aren’t mere words; they are the bedrock of seamless development and ecosystem growth.

For the multitude of decentralized applications (DApps) running on the BNB Chain, these forks signal an enhanced environment. Security and speedier transaction finality will boost the responsiveness and efficiency of DApps. These are not mere tweaks; they are transformative alterations that promise to refine the very fabric of the network.

Everscale showcases advanced Account Abstraction

Everscale, a layer-1 PoS blockchain network, has shared its latest deep dive into its AA methods. And, of course, it contrasts sharply with Ethereum’s development through various stages, ending in the recent EIP-4337 protocol.

Unlike Ethereum’s progression, Everscale’s AA is embedded in the blockchain’s core protocol, offering users multisignature functions, batch transactions, session keys, and social recovery features.

Ethereum’s path to AA has been marked by various attempts, including EIP-86’s transaction origin abstraction and EIP-2938’s limited version of AA. Its latest EIP-4337 enables complex smart accounts but faces challenges like increased DDoS vulnerability and compatibility issues.

Everscale’s implementation, on the other hand, provides a streamlined solution that offers protection similar to traditional banking. Users can set transfer limits, integrate off-chain services for additional security, and use session keys for enhanced user experience.

While Ethereum’s new EIP extension with Paymasters enables third-party transaction sponsorship and broadens payment options, it presents new challenges. Everscale’s approach seems to circumvent these, demonstrating a noteworthy stride in the blockchain industry.

Everscale’s detailed examination and side-by-side comparison with Ethereum is a reflective insight into the evolving world of blockchain technology, highlighting the innovation and competitive edge in modern account management within blockchain systems.

ERC4337 Account Abstraction Core Devs call — Meeting #15

The 15th meeting on ERC4337 Account Abstraction was held, showcasing significant developments.

The AA devs discussed updates on Georli’s shared mempool testing and p2p interface testing, as well as hive testing for mempools and node communication.

The finalization of rules for an alternate USDC mempool was also shared, and debates on Miner Extractable Value (MEV) and block builder activity provided engaging insights.

The meeting marks another step forward in the continuous evolution of Ethereum’s account abstraction technology.

For an in-depth look, the full call can be viewed here.

Special X Spaces AMA with industry experts from Ethereum Foundation, Etherspot & Fuse

We would like to invite you to join us next week for a special X Spaces AMA on the topic of Account Abstraction and why it matters. Our Co-founder and CEO, Michael Messele, will be participating, sharing his insights and expertise.

Apart from Michael, the lineup of experts will include Tom Teman from Ethereum Foundation and Mark Smargon from Fuse Network.

Join us on August 17 at 4:00 PM (UTC) in this audio room.

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