Intro to Account Abstraction

Enabling the use of smart contract accounts over EOAs.

Account Abstraction is a blockchain technology that allows users to use smart contracts as their accounts.

The default account for most users is just a private key. On most blockchain networks, only a private key can trigger transactions so this is the default account model for most users.

Unfortunately private keys require users to know a lot about how a blockchain works to use them. We can create much better user experiences using smart accounts - accounts that have code attached.

Why use smart accounts?

If you've ever tried to build Web3 apps with amazing user experiences you'll eventually hit road blocks that are imposed by the limitations of a private key.

Account abstraction enables you to:

  • πŸ’± Customize gas fees: Allow users to pay transaction fees in ERC-20 tokens or build your own fee logic, including sponsoring transaction fees on your app.
  • πŸ”‘ Decide how to authorize transactions: Remove the requirements for an EOA signature. You can use any verification scheme to add features like biometrics, social logins, multi-sign, and more.
  • βš›οΈ Freedom to build: Design your application without being restricted to bad account UX. You can batch multiple operations into one or automate entire transaction flows securely.

How does it work?

The leading way to enable account abstraction is ERC-4337. This standard allows you to build applications with account abstraction under an open and permissionless standard. The main parts of ERC-4337 are:

  • User Operations, an object that contains the transaction data
  • Bundlers, entities that send User Operations on-chain
  • Paymasters, entities that can customize gas fees for User Operations
  • Entry Point, a singleton contract that handles the execution and validation of User Operations

What is Stackup?

Stackup is building the infrastructure needed to transition the world to blockchains.

Our focus is on ERC-4337, the most promising advancement in account abstraction since the creation of Ethereum.

Stackup's bundlers and paymasters have been in production since 2022, and power some of the leading account abstraction projects.

What’s Next