Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain network and dubbed the ‘World Computer’ continues to evolve. It is a globally distributed computing platform that exists in the space between a network of 1000s of computer nodes that communicate with each other peer-to-peer.
Even aside from its ambitious post-merge roadmap, the chain continues to push updates, such as ERC-4337.
While possibly overlooked by many, in this article, we’ll take a look at what this update is and what it will mean for web3 (gaming) as the features from the update are implemented across EVM-compatible applications.
TLDR: this is massive for onboarding billions of gamers into web3.
Major Obstacle to Mass Adoption of Web3 Games
First up, let’s talk about one of the major hurdles for onboarding new users into web3 games (other than the lack of great games, for now).
After all, onboarding players from Web 2 is one of the biggest hurdles any web3 game developer or publisher needs to overcome. Arguably the biggest obstacle to this adoption of ‘traditional gamers’ is the user experience of web3 applications.
The requirement for browser extensions or external wallets to interact with web3 applications, fear of losing seed phrases when you self-custody assets and the general lack of user-friendly infrastructure, have resulted in a clunky and confusing experience.
This is all now a thing of the past, thanks to ERC-4337 and Account Abstraction! Let’s dive in!
ERC-4337 & Account Abstraction
Not as headline-grabbing as Shanghai, ERC-4337 is a massive user-experience focussed update to Ethereum and therefore EVM-compatible networks like Neon Link, Polygon and Arbitrum. Through its features, we envision this update bringing smoother onboarding capabilities to the industry.
So WTF is it?
ERC-4337 is an Ethereum standard that aims to supercharge user accounts to ‘smart accounts’. The technical description is ‘Account Abstraction’.
With this standard, Ethereum and EVM-compatible ecosystems can bring smart contract functionality to wallets, opening up a realm of possibilities.
These smart accounts can perform multiple tasks, handle multi-factor authentication, initiate and sustain crypto subscriptions, and more - all via code!
This will have a transformative effect on web3 in general as well as the sector we’re most excited about, web3 gaming.
Key Benefits of this Update to Web3 Gaming
Let's talk specifically about some clear benefits of this update to the web3 gaming space (as well as the wider web3 app ecosystem):
No ‘Gas Fee’ Problem for Web3 Gamers
Web3 developers can allow their users to interact without having to pay any gas fees to do basic things.
Account Security & Logins
We’ve all lost count of how many times we’ve used Forgot Password functionality. The same applies to web3 apps, however, prior to this update if you lost your seed phrase and access to the wallet, you could lose access to valuable crypto assets.
Neon Link believes that in order for gamers to truly own their assets, wallets need to be non-custodial and as decentralised as possible. This update allows users to maintain custody of their assets while providing extremely user-friendly features that comfort the fears we’ve all encountered using Web3 wallets, such as MetaMask.
We all know the cumbersome experience of interacting with web3 apps - approval to spend crypto, approval of transactions and so on. Imagine the ability to batch all the required transactions in 1 click. Again another great step forward for the user experience of web3 games.
Going further, smart accounts will enable subscriptions or regular payments to be automatically controlled! Automating and approving payments in advance will remove those pesky popups prevalent in existing web3 apps.
Neon Link EVM Compatible Blockchain
We’re extremely thrilled by these updates and welcome the evolution of the infrastructure around web3 games to enhance accessibility into this new frontier.
As a web3 gaming-focused ecosystem built around our own EVM-compatible blockchain network, we look forward to leveraging this standard to provide a seamless user experience for the game developers and players on Neon Link.
As Steve Jobs said, technology implementation should either be beautiful or invisible. The simplification of onboarding and benefits outlined will enable a more seamless and ‘invisible’ user experience. This allows us, as an industry, to take a giant leap towards onboarding all gamers to (perhaps unknowingly initially) become web3 gamers.