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Ethereum hard fork aims to eliminate lost private keys

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Following the Pectra hard fork, Ethereum users could find relief from the fear of losing their seed phrases forever, courtesy of a new “social recovery” feature included in the proposed Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 3074 upgrade.

In an April 11 post on X, Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko confirmed the inclusion of EIP-3074 as a new addition to the Pectra hard fork.

According to a March 25 blog post by Ethereum Foundation researcher “Domothy,” the upgrade will empower ordinary Ethereum wallets (externally owned accounts) by equipping them with enhanced smart contract capabilities, such as asset recovery.

However, to utilize the social recovery tool, users need to transfer ownership of their assets to an invoker contract via a digital signature. This contract will then execute all future transactions and function calls on behalf of the user.

Once ownership is delegated, users can utilize the message within the digital signature to regain access to their assets in case they lose or forget their seed phrase.

Cygaar, a cryptocurrency commentator, explained in an April 11 X post that the implementation of the “AUTH” and “AUTHCALL” opcodes will enable the feature.

Once initiated, AUTH will verify a user’s signature and intended action to ensure it was signed correctly. Following this, AUTHCALL will execute the transaction on the target contract, designating the user as the caller instead of the invoker contract.

Despite expressing concerns about the potential for funds to be drained if users delegate their assets to a malicious invoker contract, Domothy also anticipates the availability of a few formally verified and fully audited invoker contracts following the Pectra upgrade.

Estimates suggest that billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency has been lost over time because users have forgotten or misplaced their private keys.

On the other hand, EIP-3074 offers an additional significant benefit: users will not be required to have any Ether in their wallet to conduct transactions, as the entity managing the invoker contract can cover the expenses in advance.

“This could be huge for gaining mass retail adoption,” Cygaar noted. Additionally, it will allow for the execution of multiple actions within a single transaction.

“Right now to swap tokens on Uniswap, you have to first approve Uniswap to use your tokens, and then run the actual swap. Not great.”

“[But] with 3074, these two actions can be batched into a single tx,” Cygaar added.

The Pectra hard fork is anticipated to take place either in late 2024 or early 2025.

 

Read also: Sora Ventures & Metaplanet partner for ‘Asia’s Microstrategy’ pre-bitcoin halving

 

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