ERC-4337 is a standard for Ethereum that enables account abstraction within the protocol without requiring any modifications to the consensus layer. It was launched on the Ethereum mainnet in March 2023 to facilitate smart contract development within a single contract account.
Subsequently, the standard enables the development of user-friendly crypto wallet designs. It has the potential to promote wider adoption.
ERC-4337 is a proposed Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) or an account abstraction proposal that eliminates modifications to the consensus-layer protocol. Rather than introducing new protocol capabilities in the underlying layer, this proposal introduces a pseudo-transaction object at a higher layer.
Users submit these pseudo-transaction objects to a separate mempool. A particular type of actor, a bundler (a node), assembles a group of these objects into a transaction.
These bundlers can be either block builders or users who can send transactions to block builders through a bundle marketplace. The system includes resulting transactions in a block.
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The features provided by EIP-4337 include the ability to set flexible security rules, batch transactions, use trusted devices to share account security, allow gas payment on behalf of others or receive payment for gas, and offer increased opportunities for wallet developers to enhance user experience.
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The following are the advantages of ERC-4337:
ERC 4437 aims to allow any bundler to participate in including account-abstracted user operations in a decentralized and trustless manner. It is a mechanism that permits anyone to participate in creating and validating transactions on the Ethereum network without trust assumptions.
The bundler is a block builder that collects and bundles transactions into blocks that are then added to the blockchain. The proposal suggests that these bundlers can include account-abstracted user operations (abstract representations of user actions that do not reveal any sensitive information).
The advantage of ERC 4437 is that it works with all activity happening over a public mempool. Consequently, users do not need to know the direct communication addresses (such as IP or onion addresses) of any specific actors. It makes the process more decentralized and accessible to wider users.
Furthermore, ERC 4437 avoids trust assumptions on bundlers. Users can rely on the security and reliability of the blockchain without having to trust any specific actors. It makes the system more resilient and less vulnerable to attacks or failures.
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ERC-4337 enables users to achieve account abstraction by permitting them to use smart contract wallets. These wallets contain arbitrary verification logic as their primary account rather than relying solely on Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs). It eliminates the need for users to possess EOAs, which is essential in traditional SC wallets and EIP-3074.
Account abstraction provides a significant advantage in simplifying wallet development and usage. Previously, users had to memorize a seed phrase or store it offline to back up their cryptocurrency wallet. Account abstraction enables the storage of private keys on the standard security module of a smartphone.
This functionality creates a hardware wallet within the user's phone.
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The proposal avoids any changes to Ethereum's consensus layer development. It increases the likelihood of faster adoption. It's possible that no further protocol modifications will occur for an extended period.
ERC-4337 enables users to validate wallets without depending on public key cryptography. They can use multi-factor authentication, biometrics, or other means to validate.
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Compared to EOAs, smart contract wallets provide more use cases, including batch transactions, permission controls, and account recovery.
The standard may also include whitelisting, privacy-preserving software, emergency account freezing, establishing a daily transaction cap, aggregated signature, and setting daily transaction limits.
Users can switch to quantum-safe algorithms using ERC-4337 without significant protocol changes. Quantum computing is a major threat since it depends on quantum-vulnerable algorithms.
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ERC-4337 creatively addresses the challenges of decentralized finance (DeFi) and the interoperability of various blockchain networks. The standard has a distinctive design that permits trustless cross-chain transactions. Thereby, it can dramatically improve the effectiveness and security of DeFi transactions while encouraging broader adoption of blockchain technology.
ERC-4337 enables developers to easily incorporate interoperability into their decentralized apps by establishing a standard for cross-chain bridges. End users will benefit from a more seamless interaction with various blockchain networks since they won't need to switch between different wallets or applications.
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