On Wednesday, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced that a new ETH upgrade (ERC-4337) was coming to the network. He discussed the new features embedded in the update, as well as other possibilities that the update could bring to the network.
The most notable update is the much-anticipated Account Abstraction. For clarity, the Ethereum network currently has two types of accounts – external accounts and contract accounts. Account Abstraction aims to reduce these two account types into one. The single account will be able to transact both coins and contracts. Both developers and users will no longer need to make any distinction between the account types.
The new ERC also adds new verification logic for an individual user's wallet. It provides new features for wallet developers which allow them to implement futures like multiple signatures, new signature algorithms, and social recovery.
These functions already exist in the current wallet, but developers have to utilize additional transactions and spend excessive amounts on gas fees in order to use the features. Meanwhile, users have to own some ETH on external accounts or use relay systems that operate in a centralized manner.
Ethereum’s previous version (EIP-2938) was designed to address this issue. However, it requires protocol changes on the network that do not mix well with the focus of the current developers. The proposed update will achieve the same goals without consensus layer protocol changes.
Another key feature to be introduced by the update is a new transaction logic that allows the operation of new users without altering the network’s protocol. Developers decided to create a new layer with EIP-4339 that encapsulates the user's command and creates a queue that will be sent out as a transaction in chunks.
Buterin also described numerous characteristics that the new transaction logic brings to the chain in his article. Everything on the chain will be done via a peer-to-peer mempool, simplified user side wallet setup, full EIP-1559 support, and DoS attack protection. Consequently, all actors on the chain are bound to become decentralized.
The proposal will undergo safety audits and will be released on testnet, right after an early version is released sooner rather than later.