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Crypto’s Next Frontier: Vitalik Buterin Advocates for Seamless Ethereum Transactions

Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin
Account Abstraction Stressing Decentralization
Building Infrastructure as a Joint Ecosystem

The founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, visited Seoul.

He arrived on the 27th to speak at Biddle Asia 2024, held at Signiel Seoul in Songpa-gu, Seoul.

During his visit, Buterin highlighted his interest in Account Abstraction. To use blockchain services, users must sign transactions one by one from their digital asset wallets. However, with Account Abstraction, this cumbersome process can be bypassed.

As the founder of Ethereum, Buterin weighted the importance of Account Abstraction in the Ethereum chain and argued for its development through continuous discussion.

In his presentation on the Future of Account Abstraction that day, Buterin revealed that Account Abstraction is transitioning from the research stage to the product development stage.

“So far, discussions about the ideal account model have been abstract, but currently, Account Abstraction is leaping over the research to production,” he said.

Account Abstraction, which he continues to stress, refers to the technology that integrates the functions of externally owned Accounts (EOAs) and Contract Accounts (CAs), which are necessary for Ethereum transactions.

CAs can only receive deposits, while EOAs can both send and receive. But the difference is not just in deposits and transfers.

EOAs contain a private key and address that can initiate Ethereum transactions. Here, the private key can be understood as the account password and the address as the account number.

On the other hand, CAs lack a private key and cannot independently initiate transactions. However, CAs have their data storage and can contain contract codes known to execute only under specific conditions.

While EOAs can both send and receive, they have the disadvantage of not being able to recover the account if the private key is lost. CAs have their data storage and can change the password, but they lack a private key and cannot perform transactions.

The account abstraction underlined by Buterin combines both advantages. This combination is expected to overcome each account’s limitations.

From this perspective, Account Abstraction is expected to enhance security. Buterin said that if account abstraction becomes a reality, a subscription model like Netflix will be possible in the blockchain industry.

In the case of existing EOAs and CAs, each payment requires a signature from the wallet, making it difficult to construct an automatic payment structure. Realizing account abstraction can create a system that allows regular payments through pre-signing.

In addition, combining the two allows transactions to be performed even if the private key is lost, enabling continuous use of automatic payments. Buterin said, “Account Abstraction is the answer to being able to process regular payments in parallel once a month for convenience.”

In addition to convenience, it also facilitates service speed improvements. In the current environment, exchanging tokens for other tokens and using other blockchain services at the same time is almost impossible or time-consuming; Account Abstraction solves this problem.

Using Account Abstraction reduces the time spent in the process, allowing transactions to be freely possible.

The final advantage of account abstraction is the enhancement of wallet security. Using MultiSig, keys can be distributed and stored, so even if there is a problem somewhere, the whole will not be ruined.

Because account Abstraction has advantages in terms of convenience and security, Buterin spotlighted how important it is to improve the existing ecosystem, which has many inconveniences from the user’s perspective.

Meanwhile, Illia Polosukhin, the founder of Near Protocol, also spoke at Biddle Asia 2024 that day. Polosukhin also made a point about the technology of chain abstraction.

The judgment was that if chain abstraction is used, the blockchain infrastructure can be used freely. Illia Polosukhin accentuated chain abstraction for the same reason Vitalik Buterin had foregrounded earlier.

After their speeches, they were criticized in a panel discussion for not considering the characteristics of individual blockchain infrastructures, which could lead to unexpected risks.

In response, Buterin said, “We should not enter ignoring the differences of each chain.” He added, “Issues such as defaults and security are expected to grow. The financial system must consider preventing systemic risks.”

He emphasized, “If it is to work in all ecosystems, it must appear reasonable in security and other areas, and everything must move based on consensus.”

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