Retrieving Lost Private Keys in Ethereum May Soon Be Possible
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- The ERC-4337 specification enables wallets to operate as programmable smart contracts and allows users to recover lost private keys, as well as storing unique cryptographic keys used for cryptocurrency on standard smartphone security modules, making them de facto hardware wallets.
- ERC-4337 does not require changes to the consensus layer protocol of Ethereum and transactions involving the standard require specialized validators and are processed by an alternative mempool to other Ethereum transactions.
After successfully passing a security audit from crypto cybersecurity technology and services company OpenZeppelin, the ERC-4337 token standard is now available on all blockchain networks that are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Ethereum’s core smart contract engine.
Known as “Account Abstraction,” the launch was announced by Ethereum Foundation security researcher Yoav Weiss during ETH Denver’s WalletCon event on March 1, 2023.
It was first proposed by top Ethereum developers in September 2021, insisting that their proposal aims to completely avoid the need for consensus-layer protocol changes without adding new protocol features or changing the bottom-layer transaction type.
This is why ERC-4337 was developed: to use entry-point contracts to achieve account abstraction without changing the consensus layer protocol of Ethereum. It also enables unique cryptographic keys used for cryptocurrency to be stored on standard smartphone security modules, upgrading them to de facto hardware wallets.
Moreover, developers also claimed that the new specification will allow wallets to operate as programmable smart contracts and let users recover lost private keys. For instance, users could set up two-factor authentication to access their wallets through their biometric data or set up a multi-signature wallet to provide shared access to a single account.
This is how contract account wallets produced from account abstraction specifications differ from the externally owned accounts created through leading wallet applications in the industry. Transactions involving ERC-4337 require specialized validators and are processed by an alternative mempool to other Ethereum transactions.
“The next billion users are not going to write 12 words on a piece of paper. Normal people don’t do that. We need to give them better usability; they shouldn’t need to think about cryptographic keys,” Weiss stressed.
In a Twitter thread of Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin last year, he said one of the most important things that ERC-4337 will provide to the industry is that the account abstraction is a “decentralized fee market” for user operations going into smart contract wallets.
However, as per the smart contract wallet solution UniPass Wallet, ERC-4337 is still in the draft stage and not finalized yet. But since it will not change the consensus layer, there are already implementations in the industry, like OpenZeppelin and Stackup.
In 2022, the Ethereum Blockchain underwent a major upgrade called Merge, which transitioned the blockchain from a proof-of-work (PoW) to a fully proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
Then, earlier this year, it announced the public test network of Ethereum Shanghai, a key software upgrade that will allow users to withdraw staked $ETH in the Beacon Chain since December 2020. It is set to happen in the first quarter of 2023.
This article is published on BitPinas: Retrieving Lost Private Keys in Ethereum May Soon Be Possible
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