Listing: DODO Research
Editor: Daidai & Lisa
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As an open platform, Ethereum provides extensive support for DApps. However, its main drawback is that the user experience is relatively complex, such as how to use the MetaMask wallet. To address this issue, EIP-4337 was proposed to solve the complexity of the user experience through Account Abstraction.
With AA, functions such as signature verification, gas payment, and replay protection will all change. Smart contract accounts can initiate requests without the need for an EOA, reducing reliance on operators. Simply put, through account abstraction, users can enjoy an extremely simple account usage process, reducing the cognitive requirements for the underlying process, just like using an email account. The implementation of EIP-4337 not only improves the user experience, but also brings more customization and functionality to Ethereum, such as custom signature options and different payment methods.
Currently, projects exploring and cultivating in the AA direction are emerging like mushrooms after rain. Let’s take a look at the AA wallet ecology together below:
- I. AA Wallets: Braavos, Argent, Gnosis Safe, Avocado
- II. AA Wallet Infrastructure: Biconomy, Gelato, Pimlico, Candide, UniBlockingss
I. AA Wallets
Braavos is an intelligent contract wallet built on Starknet, which adopts a multi-level security design to protect users’ digital assets from potential threats. First of all, Braavos adopts a hot and cold separation architecture, which securely stores users’ private keys in offline devices, far away from the risk of network attacks. This offline storage method greatly reduces the possibility of private keys being invaded by hackers.
Secondly, Braavos uses multi-signature technology, requiring multiple authorized signatures to be executed for important operations such as asset transfer. This mechanism increases the security of transactions, even if a user’s device is hacked, the hacker cannot complete important operations alone. In addition, Braavos also supports biometric technology, such as fingerprint and facial recognition, to add additional identity verification levels. This dual identity verification ensures that only authorized users can access their wallets and perform sensitive operations.
To counter potential network attacks, Braavos also uses anti-phishing techniques and secure network communication protocols. It verifies messages sent to users and ensures that users only communicate with verified, legitimate servers.
Argent is an Ethereum-based smart contract wallet that aims to provide a simple, secure, and user-friendly blockchain experience. It offers users an intuitive interface to manage digital assets, send and receive cryptocurrencies, and interact with DApps without the need for tedious technical steps. Argent also uses multi-signature, where each transaction requires multiple authorized signatures to complete, so even if a hacker compromises a user’s device, they cannot execute sensitive operations independently. This multi-signature mechanism provides an additional layer of security, ensuring that user assets are not subject to unauthorized access.
Argent offers two options for private key management. The first is to save the private key to iCloud and use biometrics or a PIN for authentication. While this method is convenient, it is less secure given the multiple cases of private keys being stolen due to iCloud breaches.
The second is to share the private key by splitting it into multiple pieces and storing them with different guardians. Since Argent employs a security mechanism called Guardian mode, users can choose to trust and authorize one or more trusted contacts as their guardians. When users perform sensitive operations or encounter risks, guardians will participate in the transaction confirmation and authorization process. This security mechanism ensures that users can recover and protect their wallets through guardians even if they lose access or encounter issues. Users can set any number of guardians as needed and define their own thresholds, which increases the flexibility of user settings. This method reduces the complexity of the setup process, and we can configure it in a private and trustless way. However, it also has the disadvantage that the wallet we create is not compatible with any other non-custodial wallets that use the standard for ordinary wallets. We always hope that the project will not collapse, and that our guardians will be safe and sound.
Argent also offers an advanced malicious behavior detection system. It identifies potential risks and abnormal activities by analyzing users’ transaction patterns and behavioral patterns. If the system detects suspicious operations, it will issue an alert and require users to further confirm or take necessary security measures. In addition, Argent also provides integrated support for hardware wallets. Users can use hardware wallets to store their private keys, further enhancing their security. This offline storage method makes private keys inaccessible to network attacks, greatly reducing potential risks.
Gnosis Safe is a smart contract wallet that supports multiple EVM chains and is one of the most trusted smart contract wallets on the market.
Gnosis Safe uses a multisignature mechanism. This means that multiple authorizers need to approve before any asset transfer can take place. Each authorizer has their own private key and needs to participate in the transfer operation, ensuring that assets can only be transferred according to predetermined rules and conditions. This mechanism effectively prevents single points of failure and potential security risks, as attackers need to obtain multiple private keys to steal assets.
Gnosis Safe supports hardware wallet integration. Users can connect a hardware wallet (such as Ledger or Trezor) to Gnosis Safe, which securely stores private keys in the hardware device and collaboratively approves with other signers, providing an additional layer of security. This design ensures that even in the presence of malicious software or network attacks, users’ private keys are not exposed to an insecure environment.
In addition, Gnosis Safe also supports modular extensions. Users can choose to add different modules to enhance the functionality and security of their wallets. For example, you can add a module that executes smart contracts, or add an auditing module to monitor transaction activity in the wallet. This modular design allows users to customize and enhance the security of their wallets according to their needs and preferences.
Avocado is a smart contract wallet dedicated to providing a secure and reliable encrypted asset management and trading experience. It adopts a series of designs to ensure the security of the wallet and protect users’ assets from potential risks and attacks.
Avocado uses encryption algorithms to encrypt private keys and stores them locally on the device, ensuring that private keys are not leaked to third parties. In addition, it also protects network communication through Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and data tampering. Avocado also supports hardware wallet integration and adopts decentralized identity verification and multifactor authentication technologies such as fingerprints and facial recognition to ensure that only authorized users can access the wallet and conduct transaction operations. This design effectively prevents unauthorized access and asset theft.
Furthermore, Avocado focuses on user education and security awareness. It provides safety tips, warnings, and advice to help users understand common wallet security risks and prevention measures. Additionally, it encourages users to set strong passwords, regularly backup their wallets, and update software versions regularly, among other best practices, to enhance the overall security of their wallets.
Currently, there are also AA wallets available for users to use, such as Rhinestone, Soul Wallet, Ambire, Blockingtch Wallet, Obvious Wallet, Nest Wallet, and more, with the main differences among them and Argent or Braavos being the specific features and designs they can offer.
II. AA Wallet Infrastructure
Biconomy provides an account abstraction mechanism called “Meta Transactions” that allows users to transact without having an Ethereum wallet or paying transaction fees. Users can use third-party service providers as trust agents to send and execute transactions on behalf of users. This account abstraction mechanism simplifies users’ interactions with Ethereum and reduces users’ transaction costs.
Biconomy’s account abstraction scheme also provides advanced permission management features. Users can configure and manage various permission settings of their accounts according to their needs. For example, users can set different levels of permissions to control the transfer of accounts, contract execution, or sensitive operations. This way, users can better protect and control their accounts according to their risk preferences and security needs.
It is worth mentioning that as part of the account abstraction, Biconomy introduces bundlers and relayers, two roles into the programmable layer, to handle and execute users’ transaction requests and earn corresponding rewards. This design makes Biconomy’s account abstraction mechanism more scalable and flexible, allowing users to easily use smart contract functionality and achieve more efficient transaction processing through bundlers or relayers.
Furthermore, Biconomy also provides its own SDK development toolkit for developers to easily integrate and use account abstraction features to enhance the experience of smart contract wallets. For example, it supports various blockchain networks and smart contract platforms, provides transaction optimization and cost optimization functions, among others. Currently, Biconomy is the platform with the highest usage and most users in the entire AA ecosystem.
First, Gelato allows users to encapsulate complex logic as reusable smart contracts through the introduction of account abstraction, simplifying the process of writing and using smart contracts.
Gelato’s smart contract wallet infrastructure provides automated smart contract execution functionality. Users can create automated tasks on Gelato and set trigger conditions and execute operations. When the trigger conditions are met, Gelato automatically executes the corresponding operation, without the need for manual user intervention. This automation mechanism can help users achieve complex logic such as timed tasks, condition triggers, etc., improving operation efficiency and accuracy.
Gelato allows users to connect their accounts and smart contracts through subscription services. Users can choose to subscribe to specific smart contract events or state changes, and when these events or states occur, Gelato automatically executes the relevant smart contract operations. This way, users can abstract the interaction between accounts and smart contracts into higher-level event triggers and automated execution.
Gelato also introduces relayers to support efficient transaction processing. Through these account abstraction mechanisms, Gelato allows users to use higher-level conditions and event triggers to achieve smart contract operations without directly handling complex smart contract code and underlying protocols. This way, non-technical users can easily leverage the power of smart contracts and automate specific operations, improving efficiency and convenience.
Pimlico provides a user-friendly interface for users to interact with smart contracts. Users only need to select the appropriate operation options and provide the necessary parameters, and Pimlico will execute the corresponding smart contract operation on behalf of the user. This eliminates the need for users to write complex contract invocation code, greatly simplifying the user’s interaction process with smart contracts.
In addition, Pimlico introduces the Blockingymaster service mechanism. Blockingymaster is a smart contract that acts as a payment intermediary between users and smart contracts. When users interact with smart contracts using Pimlico, Blockingymaster handles payment transactions. Users only need to send the payment amount to Blockingymaster, and then Blockingymaster forwards the corresponding payment to the smart contract. The benefit of doing this is that users do not need to pay transaction fees separately for each transaction, but can pay once to Blockingymaster, which will forward it on behalf of the user.
The Blockingymaster service mechanism also provides more flexibility and security. For example, different charging models can be implemented, such as fixed costs, percentage costs, etc., which can be flexibly adjusted according to actual needs, and verification of user identity or implementation of access control to enhance interaction security and trust.
Candide is a smart contract wallet infrastructure based on Substrate. Its features include account abstraction, account recovery, and the ability to pay gas fees using ERC-20 via the entry-point contract. Candide’s vision is to promote the adoption of contract accounts on Ethereum and EVM networks through the Voltaire bundler. The Voltaire bundler is a fast and friendly ERC-4337 compatible bundler.
UniBlockingss is a free Web3 account and wallet that provides a one-stop service from private key management to DID and social recovery. UniBlockingss provides a range of features, including SDK, multi-chain support, decentralized identity verification, decentralized trading, and more to provide a better account abstraction experience.
It can be foreseen that in the near future, AA will be widely adopted at the application layer, and the changes brought about by account abstraction also have the potential for ecological explosion. In Vitalik’s latest proposal display, the technical path of Rollup+account abstraction has been widely recognized. As of now, various native Rollups have also launched new versions compatible with account abstraction, such as zkSync and Starknet. With the development of Rollup, account abstraction combined with Rollup will also develop more optimal and refined solutions.
*Please refer to the official project document for the source of the project analysis.
The information in this research report is from publicly disclosed materials, and the views in this article are for research purposes only and do not represent any investment opinions. The views and predictions presented in the report are only for analysis and judgment on the day of issuance and do not have permanent validity.