Gone are the days when you had to preserve your private keys for logging into crypto wallets. Enter Smart Contract Crypto wallets! Unlike regular crypto wallets, smart contract wallets are built on top of blockchain technology, allowing them to automate complex financial transactions and carry out self-executing code.
So, what exactly is a smart contract wallet? How does it differ from a regular crypto wallet, and what are its benefits and drawbacks? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and provide tips on how to keep your smart wallet safe.
What is a Smart Contract Wallet?
A Smart Contract Wallet is a digital wallet that uses smart contracts to automate its functions, as well as provide a higher level of security and transparency than traditional wallets.
Developers can create coded instructions within a smart wallet that offers diverse customizations and a smoother user experience, including specific conditions for access, exchange, and storage of users’ funds.
The most popular Smart Contract wallets are built over the Ethereum Blockchain. They could be programmed to automatically split funds between multiple parties or to require multiple signatures or approvals before a transaction is executed.
Smart Contract Wallet Vs Regular Crypto Wallets
Self-custodial crypto wallets traditionally use a public and private key to secure users’ accounts. Such wallets on the Ethereum protocol are called Externally Owned Accounts (EOA). These accounts are owned and controlled by users through cryptographic keys. They do not have complex data storage or coded features and allow ease of access through simple software wallet apps.
On the other hand, smart contract wallets carry out transactions and secure digital funds using smart contracts. They offer stronger security and flexibility as they use the logic of programming codes to carry out their functions. There is no need for users to remember private keys or seed phrases, as its features are run on blockchain-backed contracts that are executed by the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
Smart contract wallets are made possible by using the ERC-4337 Account Abstraction Protocol which programs all the essential functions of an EOA into a smart contract. This enables smart wallets to create bundled transactions, customizable recovery models, flexibility in paying gas fees, and greater privacy.
So, coding instead of private keys forms the basis of a smart contract wallet. While EOA wallets can be accessed by a user holding private keys, smart contract wallets depend on pre-coded functions to maintain a user’s portfolio. This allows developers to code special features into smart contract wallets that are not usually available to traditional crypto wallet holders.
Benefits of a Smart Contract Wallet
Smart Wallets offer a range of advantages that enhance user experience in terms of transparency, flexibility, and trust. They break reliance on private keys and provide versatility combined with strengthened security. Some main benefits of using smart wallets include:
1. Better Wallet Safety
Smart wallets have some special features that promote greater security of accounts. These are:
- Multi-Signature Authorization: This means that a wallet requires two or more parties to approve a transaction before it can be executed.
- Multi-Factor Authentication: Smart wallets can create an extra layer of protection that involves more than one lock confirmation to access an account.
- Whitelisting: Users can pre-specify a list of approved addresses that a wallet is allowed to transact with.
- Emergency account Freezing: This serves as protection in the event of a lost or stolen device. So, if you suspect that your device has been compromised, you can still maintain account security by deactivating or freezing access to your wallet.
2. Sophisticated Exchange Features
Customizable smart contracts make these wallets a powerful medium for conducting digital transactions. Some such features are:
- Transaction Limits: A user can set daily/weekly/monthly transaction limits to plan their spending. This will reduce the chance of user errors while also preventing attackers from stealing all your assets in a single transaction.
- Bundled Transactions: Smart contracts can bundle certain interactions with DApps that would usually take several steps to complete if you use a conventional wallet. This improves the convenience and speed of transactions.
- No gas fees: Relayers such as Authereum enable wallet makers to waive users’ gas fees needed for Ethereum transactions. This means you no longer need to maintain an ETH balance for carrying out exchanges, leading to a smoother user experience.
Drawbacks of Smart Contract Wallets
Smart contracts cause an undeniable improvement in the security and flexibility of crypto wallets. However, there are some limitations that accompany their infrastructural framework, such as:
1. Blockchain code is not foolproof
There are inherent weaknesses in coding-backed designs that can be exploited or hacked by cybercriminals. This means that any smart contract is vulnerable to security breaches when it is subject to tampering. Issues tied to language design, and programming reliability are always a lurking possibility.
2. External Linkages can cause counterparty risk
Smart contract wallets need external linkages to complete their functions. An EOA wallet can be controlled by a single user, but the smart contract framework relies on third parties for its operations. Features such as transaction relaying, account recovery, and multi-signature validation need external support but might introduce counterparty risk to the wallet security.
3. Administrative costs
A lot of smart contract wallets require a heavy gas fee to operate. They also need more data storage and computation capacity to complete transactions. Some users might find that understanding the proper usage of smart wallets involves steeper learning than traditional wallets. As a result, there is a higher time and energy cost that must be expended to be a successful smart wallet user.
How to Keep Smart Wallet Safe
Following some precautionary steps to keep your smart wallet protected can go a long way in keeping your accounts secure. Here are some best practices you must implement to maintain a secure smart wallet:
- Ensure that your wallet meets secure code deployment standards and undergoes regular security audits.
- Check and ensure the legitimacy of any addresses you interact with before making a transaction.
- Deactivate DApp sessions that are not actively under use
- Read user modules thoroughly to understand the proper functionality and procedures of your wallet.
- Only download smart contract wallet apps from their official website.
- Monitor your transactions and stay vigilant to avoid phishing scams by spotting malicious parties early.
Smart Wallet for Wealth Creation
As smart wallets become more popular, it is imperative for crypto enthusiasts to learn the right practices for their operation. Knowing the latest trends in this arena will keep you on top of the Web3 ecosystem. This will in turn help you invest sustainably and make long-term profits that usher in greater prosperity.