Account Abstraction: The Holy Grail or another web3 buzzword?

What is Account Abstraction, and why are people talking about it in web3?

Account abstraction is a concept that allows users to interact with Web3 — decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms — without directly using their private key. Not only does this minimize risk of compromising a user’s account, it allows for advanced functionality and programmability for Web3 identities. Today, these “Abstracted Accounts” typically make use of smart contracts, but can also be provided at the protocol level.

The goal of account abstraction is to make it easier and more user-friendly for people to interact with the decentralized web by removing the technical barriers associated with managing private keys and gas fees. This allows users to interact with dApps more securely and conveniently without having to manage their accounts or worry about paying gas fees.

The Web3 Account Ecosystem

The first thing to understand is that not all web3 accounts are created equally. In fact, most people think of a crypto account as the wallet they have on their phone, computer, or browser. In reality, your account does not live inside your device but on the blockchain. Your wallet is just your key to accessing that on-chain account. As a result, there are several ways to manage and secure a web3 account.

The primary account types are Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs) and Smart Contract Accounts (SCAs). An EOA is an account that is ‘owned’ by a user through the use of a private key, whereas a smart contract owns an SCA, and the user has permission to interact with that smart contract.

There are additional types of accounts, such as multi-signature accounts and proxy contracts, but essentially they are mostly variations of either an EOA or SCA. In its purest form, an EOA is the standard for human-user accounts in the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) ecosystem.

Benefits of Externally Owned Accounts:

1. Security: EOAs are created with a unique private key used to sign transactions, making it difficult for anyone else to access or steal funds stored in the account.

2. Decentralization: EOAs are not controlled by any central authority, allowing users to retain complete control over their funds and assets.

3. Ownership: EOAs give users true ownership over their funds and assets, as they are in full control of their private keys and can make transactions without any other party’s permission or participation.

4. Interoperability: EOAs are compatible with a wide range of decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, making it easier for users to interact with the decentralized web.

5. Transparency: EOAs allows for transparent transactions and account balances, as all information is stored on the blockchain and can be easily viewed by anyone.

6. Censorship-resistance: EOAs allows users to make transactions resistant to censorship, as transactions are processed on a decentralized network and are not controlled by any central authority.

Benefits of Smart Contract Accounts:

  1. Automation: Smart Contract Accounts can automate complex processes, such as distributing rewards, managing assets, and executing transactions, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  2. Security: Assets are held by the Smart Contract Account, and only require an authorized signature, not a private key itself, in order to interact with Web3
  3. Decentralization: Smart Contract Accounts are not controlled by any central authority, making them more secure and resistant to censorship.
  4. Interoperability: Smart Contract Accounts can interact with other smart contracts, enabling the creation of complex decentralized systems and applications.
  5. Transparency: All transactions and data stored on Smart Contract Accounts are visible on the blockchain, allowing for transparency and accountability.
  6. Programmability: Smart Contract Accounts are programmable, allowing developers to create custom logic and automate complex processes.

However, both SCAs and EOAs have limitations. Smart contract wallets are either immutable, meaning they cannot be updated, removing the capability for upgrades or bug fixes, or have proxy-upgradeability which can be a security risk if the owner is not the one who has access to the smart contract itself. Deploying a smart contract account involves potential security risks, costs, and added complexity. Smart Contract Accounts are also limited to the network where they were deployed, having no (or extremely limited) compatibility across different EVM networks. Meanwhile, EOAs are reliant on a single private key which, if lost, is gone forever. In addition, the EOA’s private key cannot be safely shared, nor can the account be programmed to perform any level of automation.

Account abstraction is often seen to address these shortcomings in Web3 accounts by adding additional functionality to a specific blockchain via an upgrade/fork or augmenting it with a layer-2 or sidechain solution. Yet, Intu has developed a solution that does not need third-party dependencies, blockchain upgrades, or smart contract accounts.

Intu has built a fully decentralized, self-sovereign EOA with complete account recoverability and composability with any EVM chain.

Distributed Externally Owned Accounts (dEOA) by Intu

This is where Intu comes in.

Intu Accounts bring many of the benefits of account abstraction to the world of Externally Owned Accounts. With an account built on the Intu protocol, users can perform actions previously limited to smart contract accounts while retaining the security and composability of an EOA.

Distributed EOAs are unique in that they do not have a single private key (read: single point of failure), but interact with web3 networks identically to other, traditional EOAs.

Web3 is growing increasingly complex, and current thinking around account abstraction runs the risk of further complicating a fundamental end-user tool — accounts.. At Intu, we believe that the underlying foundations of web3 should be built in the most straightforward, elegant, and robust manner available. Moreover, complexity is compounded when the base layer of the account infrastructure is already filled with complicated smart contracts and third-party dependencies.

An Intu Account removes this complexity by placing all of the hard work onto the Intu protocol, and allows external, human users to continue as intended — with Externally-owned Accounts. The protocol employs end-user devices like smartphones, and on-chain verification to achieve a similar account abstraction, but without forfeiting trust or control.

This innovation means that the security can be optimized without compromising on the interactivity or composability of accounts.

Intu dEOAs are created off-chain, using cutting-edge cryptography and distributing the private key of an EOA into ‘shares’, configured and owned by user-controlled accounts.

It brings the security of multi-sig wallets, the composability of multiparty computational wallets, and the elegance of an EOA together into one simple to use web3 account.

Account recovery, shared wallets, threshold signatures, flexible ownership, and other smart contract automation are all made available by Intu for both end-users and Web3 Developers, and we are proud to be launching at ETHDenver this year.

To find out more about Intu Accounts visit or @intuOfficial on Twitter.

What is Intu?
Intu thrives on a mission to make web3 human fit, what does this mean?  To safely abstract away some of the technical challenges that developers and users face when interacting with Web3, creating small but complex and robust solutions to solve large problems.
How is it done?
Intu has developed a solution that comprises of two main parts, an easy to integrate SDK and a Smart Contract system to register information onchain.  You can read more about this in
Is Intu a custodian?
No, Intu provide the infrastructure needed to create advanced account solutions, we do not nor are able to access any private keys or key shards. These are all maintained by you, the customer.
Are you decentralized?  
Intu in itself is natively decentralized since it is deployed on EVM and receives the benefits of the inherent decentralization and security of the chain. 

You can choose your own level of decentralization when you create your account, picking participants and define a circle of trust for yourself. 

We think its better for our customers to pick this rather than us picking (and potentially failing) for them. 
How much does it cost? 
Right now we don’t charge a fee to use Intu (this will change), the only cost you will experience is the gas fees associated to create an account.