ConsenSys Executive Predicts Account Abstraction’s Impact: Web3 to Attract Billions of Users from Asia

According to a ConsenSys executive, the concept of account abstraction, also known as “smart accounts,” could play a significant role in onboarding billions of users from Asia to Web3. Laura Shi, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at ConsenSys, highlighted the expanding Ethereum and Web3 ecosystem in the Asian region.

Shi noted that this year has seen a notable increase in decentralized applications (dApps) improving user experience (UX) specifically tailored for the Asian market, including the introduction of Asian language support. The growth in the region is primarily attributed to the implementation of zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) rollups and the widespread adoption of Optimistic rollups, both of which are layer-2 scaling solutions. zkEVM provides developers with enhanced security, scalability, and direct compatibility with Ethereum smart contracts.

Shi believes that the development of account abstraction, which offers advanced programmable functionality and more “bank-like” features compared to a regular crypto wallet, will further drive adoption in Asia. She stated, “The development of account abstraction will facilitate the onboarding of the billion-level users in APAC to Web3.”

Account abstraction was first proposed by Vitalik Buterin and other developers in September 2021 through Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4337. This concept aims to avoid making changes at the consensus-layer protocol level and instead relies on higher-layer infrastructure. However, the idea has been present in Ethereum’s timeline for some time.

According to the 2022 Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index, Asia was home to the top two countries with the highest crypto adoption rates — Vietnam and the Philippines. Despite regulatory challenges, countries such as Thailand, China, and India also ranked within the top 10.

Shi highlighted the role of social gaming and Web3 gaming in driving adoption in Asia, specifically citing South Korea and China. She mentioned that South Korean gaming publishers are increasingly focused on Web3 RPG game publishing to optimize the sustainability of the on-chain economic model. Meanwhile, the Chinese-speaking developer ecosystem is working on onboarding Web2 users to Web3 gaming through the adoption of account abstraction solutions. Both use cases heavily rely on zkEVM rollups and the development of account abstraction.

From a use-case perspective, Shi sees Web3 social and gaming content as having the greatest potential in the coming years. These applications leverage zkEVM rollup solutions and account abstraction to enable gas fee subsidies and social recovery.

When asked about the potential impact of the U.S. industry crackdown on the growth of the Ethereum and Web3 ecosystem in Asia, Shi stated that no direct correlation had been observed so far. The pivot to Asia by U.S.-based crypto and Web3 companies seeking friendlier jurisdictions has been a recent topic of discussion. However, the Ethereum ecosystem in Asia appears to be thriving independently, without the catalyst of regulatory dynamics in the United States.

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