ERC-7579: Unified Standard for Modular Smart Accounts

June 1, 2024
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ERC-7579: Unified Standard for Modular Smart Accounts

ERC-7579 introduces a minimal and standardized approach for Modular Smart Accounts. Developed collaboratively by Rhinestone, Biconomy, ZeroDev, and OKX, this initiative aims to create a common standard for modular smart accounts, enhancing their interoperability across different decentralized applications and services.

The introduction of ERC-7579 is a response to the need for a more unified approach to handling smart accounts, avoiding the complexity and more opinionated approach of existing standards like ERC-6900.


As co-creators of this standard, we at Biconomy and our partners are dedicated to shaping a more efficient and interoperable ecosystem.

Understanding Modular Smart Accounts

Smart accounts are a crucial part of Account Abstraction technology. They differ from traditional External Owned Accounts (EOAs) by offering enhanced functionalities. This is possible because in smart accounts, the validation logic and execution are managed by smart contracts rather than by private keys alone.

These accounts provide advanced features like automated transactions, improved security protocols, and customizable permissions, making them an integral part of complex decentralized applications (dApps) and services.

Role of Modularity: Smart accounts can be designed with plug-and-play modularity, which allows for easy extension and modification of their features and functionalities, known as modules. This design allows for greater flexibility and customization, turning smart accounts from wallet layer to platform.

Our vision is to build a full-fledged module store, where builders can build new modules & devs can easily plug them into their dApps.

Smart Account Modularity

Why ERC-7579?

To appreciate the need for ERC-7579, let's imagine the case if there were no standardisation between different smart account implementations.

Without ERC-7579

  • Every dApp that uses different smart account provider may have a different wallet UI.
  • A module built for one smart account implementation will not work with another smart account implementation. So dApps may not be able to utilise these modules if they have a different smart account provider.

With ERC-7579

  • Even if a dApp uses different smart account provider, they will have a similar wallet UI. Thus, users will find the UX familiar across different dApps.
  • A module built for one smart account implementation will work with every smart account implementation. Thus, dApps can easily choose any Smart Account provider and be rest assured that they can leverage a range of modules from the module store.

While ERC-6900 has contributed significantly to standardizing Modularity for Smart Accounts, ERC-7579 was developed to address specific needs:

Compliance with ERC-4337: ERC-7579 aligns closely with ERC-4337, focusing on user operations and account abstraction, ensuring seamless integration.

Minimal Approach: Unlike ERC-6900, ERC-7579 adopts a minimalistic approach. It standardizes essential interfaces for smart accounts and modules, allowing flexibility and innovation without imposing extensive requirements.

Minimise Fragmentation: In the Smart Account community, each Smart Account implementation is unique. This uniqueness poses a challenge when implementing Modules, as they need to be customized for each variant to ensure compatibility. With ERC-7579, we can minimise this fragmentation with universally accepted implementation for modules.

Enhance Interoperability: The need for ERC-7579 arises from the desire to enhance interoperability among various smart accounts and to avoid limitations in innovation and application development. It aims to create a standardized yet flexible framework that can adapt to future developments.

Module Store: With Biconomy’s new Module Store, ERC-7579 is key. It lays the groundwork for a place where anyone can create modules that work well with different smart accounts, opening up a world of possibilities.

Unified Development and Ecosystem Synergy

ERC-7579 brings a transformative approach to module development for Smart Accounts:

Unified Module Architecture: Modules, often deployed as singletons, can be universally used across various Smart Account implementations following ERC-7579. This standardization ensures that a module is compatible while eliminating redundant development efforts.

Enhanced Security and Efficiency: The blockchain community benefits from shared experiences and solutions by adopting a standardized approach. This collective wisdom leads to enhanced security and optimized gas usage as Smart Account providers collaborate toward common challenges.

Streamlined Development Workflow: The standard provides a clear and consistent framework, simplifying development and encouraging innovative solutions. It allows developers to focus on innovation instead of compatibility issues, promoting efficiency and usability through integration with dApps, SDKs, and platforms.

Community Oriented Development: By uniting under the ERC-7579 standard, Smart Account providers align their technical approaches and foster a community-oriented development environment.

Benefits of ERC-7579

The introduction of ERC-7579 brings several advantages:

Enhanced Interoperability: It allows for seamless interaction between different smart accounts and modules, facilitating a more integrated blockchain ecosystem.

Integration Ease: ERC-7579 simplifies incorporating smart accounts & plugging in various modules into various wallet applications and SDKs. Thus, it saves a lot of development time & efforts.

Innovation and Flexibility: By providing a foundational framework, ERC-7579 encourages innovation, allowing developers to build upon a standardized base without restrictive limitations.

Collaborative Progress: Setting a common standard creates an environment where the whole ecosystem can thrive together, benefiting the wider community who care about UX-oriented solutions. The standard encourages active participation from the web3 community, which can lead to more innovative and user-friendly Smart Account solutions.


Contributions

ERC-7579 is the result of a collaborative effort involving key players in the blockchain space:

  • Joint Development: Biconomy, Rhinestone, ZeroDev, and OKX joined forces to develop this standard, combining their unique perspectives and expertise.
  • Community Feedback: Input from the community played a crucial role in shaping ERC-7579, ensuring it addresses real-world needs and challenges in smart account implementation.

We encourage you to join the conversation and contribute to ERC-7579. Share your ideas and feedback on Ethereum Magicians or by contributing to the GitHub Pull Request.


Conclusion

In summary, ERC-7579 introduces a standardized approach for Modular Smart Accounts, ensuring better compatibility and flexibility across various applications. This initiative signifies a crucial development in enhancing Smart Account functionality and end-user experience.


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This piece is authored by Adam Boudjemaa. Follow him on twitter.

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