The developments happening in blockchain are interesting and revolutionary to say the least. New concepts are being proposed, enhancing the capabilities of this field. This week, we present you with two such concepts, which have the potential to advance the relatively nascent industry further and increase its disruption potential.
Blockchain Concept: Social Recovery
A big issue with cryptocurrency wallets are the problems encountered with recovery. A crypto-wallet usually relies on the private key to prove ownership and access, however this private key isn’t easy to remember, since it is a long random mix of characters.
It also has to be stored safely, because if it gets lost or falls into the wrong hands, you lose access to the funds or funds can be transferred without authorization. The “code is law” nature of most crypto-assets and immutability of blockchain networks ensures that private key once lost is irrecoverable.
Enter social recovery concept. This blockchain concept envisions wallet owners selecting a list of Ethereum addresses “guardians”, which can authorize the recovery of a private key, protected by a “user secret” which only the owner knows. If authorized, the user secret can reveal the private key or reset it.
The number of guardians, their identity (wallet addresses) and their weightage in account recovery is known only to the wallet owner. Further, the Ethereum addresses (guardians) are only called, if help is ever needed and it isn’t known how many guardians are needed for recovery. The compromise of “user secret” results in the leakage of guardian list, but not necessarily in loss of funds.
The concept is still under development and being debated on, however if implemented properly can ensure that account recovery is possible in blockchain environment, facilitates crypto adoption and make people more confident about using crypto-assets.
Blockchain Concept: Ethereum Account Abstraction
This blockchain concept contemplates merger of two types of accounts, currently existing on the Ethereum main-net.
1. Contract Accounts
2. User Accounts (what most of us have)
If Ethereum Account Abstraction is implemented, users accounts will be able to operate like smart contracts. This can allow wallets to perform many more complex functions than they currently can, with more smoother user experiences.
Some of the functionalities which can be powered by account abstraction are:
1. Signature verification (improved security with new forms of cryptography)
2. Gas payment (gas fees can be paid with tokens, instead of only ether)
3. Replay protection (transactions can’t be fraudulently manipulated or delayed across similar blockchains)
4. Ability to self relay transactions
5. Support for layer 2 scaling and privacy protocols
What if every Ethereum wallet could be a smart wallet with features like social recovery and the ability to pay for gas using any token?