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Account Abstraction: Solutions for L1 & L2 Layers and Current State of Adoption
Account Abstraction
February 15, 2024

Account Abstraction: Solutions for L1 & L2 Layers and Current State of Adoption

Ever felt lost in the complexities of crypto wallets and blockchain interactions? This article is set to change that and keep you on top of things. Many users struggle with navigating the technical interface of Web3, hindering mainstream adoption. But fear not! Account Abstraction (AA) emerges as a potential savior, promising to simplify what had once been tedious, the user experience, and with it, stronger security.

This article delves into the current state of AA adoption, exploring its implementation across both Layer 1 (L1) and Layer 2 (L2) solutions.

So, buckle up as we unpack:

  • Brief Introduction into AA: Here, we briefly go into explanation of AA and its core purposes, and the concept of application-level and protocol-level solutions in the blockchain.
  • Current Adoption of Account Abstraction and factors fueling it: Using real-world data from sources like Dune Analytics and BundleBear, we look into adoption of AA across different networks, delve into unique implementations, and also shed light on the key factors fueling its global adoption.
  • Roadblocks to Widespread Adoption: No innovation is problem-free. We explore obstacles hindering wider adoption of AA, and discuss ongoing efforts and solutions to overcome them.
  • L1 vs. L2 Showdown: Here, we did a comparison of L1 and L2 approaches of AA, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and examples of real-world projects and how to choose the right L1 and L2 AA solutions for specific use cases.

In addition, it is worth noting that DeCommas is actively contributing to the creation of an AA-powered Terminal, paving the way for the future of blockchain trading. For more details, read this Medium article. Furthermore, this article will be drawing connections between private keys and transaction signing in the context of smart contracts interaction which explains why we will be using private keys and signing keys interchangeably.

Brief Introduction into AA

Before we dive into the deep end of this article, let’s equip you with some knowledge first.

What is AA?

Imagine interacting with the Web3 world without the hassle of manually managing private keys, calculating transactional fees, tedious interaction with every smart contract and endless fear of being scammed and losing all your funds approving transactions, having to ‘safe-keep’ your seed phrases, and other nitty-gritties such as feeling lost and intimidated by the technical jargon… That is the promise of AA!

Account Abstraction is a proposed solution — now in use — to the challenges of using dApps. It acts as an intermediate layer, separating accounts that store funds from complex details of blockchain transaction signing to control those funds.

For a better understanding, think of it like a manager for your Web3 life, simplifying interactions with dApps, thereby making a whole lot of processes much easier and smoother for you, and at the same time, bringing about protocols that keep your information more secure. Meanwhile, you can learn more about how we are currently utilizing the AA technology here.

Application-Level and Protocol-Level Solutions in Account Abstraction

Now that you have a grasp of what AA is, let us explore the two main approaches to implementing AA:

  1. Application-Level Solution:

Shortly, this approach integrates AA functionalities directly within specific dApps or wallets, offering a tailored experience but limited to those applications.

  1. Protocol-Level Solution:

Here, AA functionalities are built directly into the blockchain protocol, in which interoperability across various applications and wallets becomes possible, opening up a more comprehensive and interconnected ecosystem. In this article we’re focusing on this type of solution.

Current Adoption of Account Abstraction Technology

Account Abstraction promises a smoother and more secure Web3 experience, but where does it stand in terms of adoption? Let us take a look at some key data points:

  • As of early February, 2024, according to NiftyTable, there are over 2.6 million smart accounts currently existing, with January’s data showcasing 555,276 active ERC-4337 smart accounts as opposed to May, 2023’s 3,509 active accounts. If nothing else, this signifies a growing user preference for AA within Ethereum.

Dune stats by NiftyTable

Dune stats by NiftyTable

  • Also, data reveals the EntryPoint activities (singleton smart contract that processes ERC-4337 transactions) of various chains, with L2s like Polygon and Arbitrum taking on significant activities on the chart. This comes to highlight AA’s appeal beyond Ethereum, suggesting potential for wider ecosystem adoption.

Dune stats by Johnrising

  • Zooming in on Ethereum’s mainnet, Suneal_eth paints a picture of more than just the number of users. It reveals the actual usage of AA through user operations, with its data showcasing that AA is not just a theoretical concept but a practical tool already being adopted by real-world players.
  • Today, we are seeing a massive and still-growing Web3 ecosystem, with millions of active wallets, billions of dollars flowing through defi, and a thriving NFT market. This vast audience represents the potential user base that AA could tap into, suggesting that the future holds exciting possibilities for wider adoption across the entire Web3 space.

Though AA adoption is still in its early stages, the data reveals a promising trajectory. It is spreading fast across platforms, attracting established projects, and capturing the attention of the Web3 community. The future holds the potential for even more diverse use cases and wider participation, ultimately transforming how we interact with Web3.

Factors Fueling Account Abstraction Adoption

Several key factors are driving the rising adoption of Account Abstraction (AA):

  1. Enhanced User Experience: AA simplifies complex dApp interactions and transaction processes, making them more user-friendly. Traditional Web3 often involves managing private keys and gas fees, which can be confusing and intimidating for newcomers. AA eliminates these burdens, offering a smoother and more intuitive experience similar to traditional online interactions. Here are examples of how AA simplifies and enhances the user experience in Web3:
  • Gas Abstraction: Have you ever felt frustrated by fluctuating gas prices and the fear of overpaying for a transaction? AA eliminates this pain point by abstracting gas fees away from users. Instead of manually calculating and approving gas, AA handles the process automatically, ensuring smooth and predictable transactions.
  • Social login: Is it the stress of having to find where you saved your old seed phrases, or the risk of losing access to your assets? AA puts an end to that as it allows for sign ups and logins through familiar social media accounts like Google, Facebook, or even X and so on.
  • Batched Transaction: No more having to perform and sign transactions one-by-one! AA enables a process called batching, where you can group together multiple actions and authorize them at once.
  • More flexibility: smart accounts give users more control over their funds (ex. which assets to use on this AA account, how much volume to transact per day)
  1. Improved Security: By changing one private key from account to smart contract account with some custom validation and signing logic, AA mitigates the risk of private key loss and theft, which is a critical concern in Web3. This separation strengthens security, giving users greater peace of mind when interacting with various dApps and protocols. Some of the benefits you can enjoy when it comes to security and recovery include accounts without seed phrases, opportunities to enable 2FA, Session Keys, etc.

Roadblocks to Widespread Adoption

Despite its promising trajectory, AA faces several hurdles that impede wider adoption:

  1. Technical Complexity: Implementing AA currently requires significant technical expertise, which can be a barrier for smaller developers and projects. Simplified developer tools and readily available resources are crucial for broader adoption.

  2. Ecosystem Fragmentation: The lack of standardized AA solutions across different networks creates compatibility challenges. Fragmented ecosystems hinder seamless user experiences and limit interoperability between platforms.

  3. Regulatory Uncertainty: Regulatory frameworks around digital assets and Web3 technologies are still evolving, creating uncertainty for some projects considering AA adoption. Clear and supportive regulations can contribute to a more favorable environment for AA proliferation.

L1 vs. L2 Showdown

The Account Abstraction revolution is sweeping through Web3, but where does it stand in the ongoing L1 vs. L2 debate? Each approach has unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to implementing AA, and this is why understanding them would empower you to navigate the landscape with better clarity.

L1: The Secure Stronghold

Think of L1 blockchains as the fortresses of the Web3 world. They offer the highest level of security and decentralization, as everything runs directly on the main blockchain itself. This inherent security is appealing, especially for those who prioritize the safety of their digital assets. Additionally, L1s offer great flexibility for developers to create custom AA solutions, allowing for potentially more innovative approaches.


  • Security: Offers inherent security of the underlying base layer blockchain.
  • Decentralization: Maintains the fully decentralized nature of L1s.


  • Scalability: Limited transaction throughput can hinder user experience and adoption.
  • High Fees: Gas fees can be prohibitively expensive for frequent interactions.

Examples of How L1 is utilizing AA:

Ethereum (EIP-4337): This example utilizes AA by introducing “smart accounts” that manage their own logic and storage off-chain. This allows for custom account behavior beyond simple transactions, including programmable fees, governance, and identity management.

Cardano (Hydra): Hydra utilizes AA by focusing on achieving high transaction throughput with low fees through lightweight “Heads” channels on top of the blockchain. These Heads manage their own transactions and states, reducing on-chain load.

L2: The Agile Outpost

Imagine L2s as agile outposts built on top of the L1 fortresses. They inherit the security of the underlying L1 while offering faster transactions and lower fees by processing transactions off-chain and periodically batching them back to the main blockchain. This makes them ideal for frequent interactions and users who prioritize speed and affordability. Additionally, L2s often have a more modular architecture, making it easier to integrate AA solutions.


  • Scalability: Designed to handle significantly more transactions at lower fees compared to L1s.
  • Faster Transactions: Offers near-instantaneous transactions, improving user experience.


  • Security: Inherits security from the underlying L1, potentially introducing additional trust assumptions.
  • Dependence on L1: Relies on the security and liveness of the underlying L1 blockchain.

Examples of How L2 is Utilizing AA:

StarkNet employs Account Abstraction (AA) to empower privacy-focused features. It cloaks user addresses with “anonymous accounts” and facilitates seamless fund movement between StarkNet and Ethereum via “StarkGate” using AA.

zkSync leverages AA to enhance user experience with features like “social recovery accounts” that enable access control through trusted guardians. They also boast “EIP-1559 compatibility” for familiar gas fee mechanisms.

Tabular Comparison Between the Two Technologies

Tabular Comparison Between the L1 and L2

Choosing the ‘Right’ Path

The truth is, choosing between L1 and L2 AA solutions mainly depends on your specific needs and/or priorities. If security and decentralization are paramount, L1s might be your choice, even with potential scalability limitations. If speed, affordability, and ease of use are your main concerns, L2s offer a compelling alternative.

In all, the good news is that Account Abstraction technology is constantly evolving. Both L1s and L2s are actively exploring innovative solutions, and the lines between them might blur in the future. We might even see hybrid approaches that leverage the strengths of both layers. Ultimately, the “winner” in the L1 vs. L2 AA showdown will be the approach that delivers the best balance of security, scalability, speed, functionality, and overall best user experience for the majority of users.

So, keep your eyes peeled on the exciting developments in the AA space, and remember that the key to navigating this industry is to understand your own priorities and choose the solution that best aligns with them. And while you explore your options, don’t forget to check out this article for a glimpse of DeCommas’ active contribution to the AA-powered trading terminal.