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Embedded Smart Accounts: Powering the Web3 Gaming Stack

Joan Alavedra
Embedded-wallets.svg

When Openfort started a little more than a year ago, we were one of the first ones to build a compatible ERC4337 implementation of a smart account for web3 games. Our solution helped many get started onchain with much simpler transaction signing, gasless transactions, support for native game frameworks, etc.

To support developers in onboarding more people into their products, we're thrilled to share that Openfort is building a new account solution. Developers can now integrate an embedded, in-game, wallet.

We like to call it Embedded Smart Account. (A blend of Smart Accounts + Embedded Wallets).

In the coming weeks, we’ll start to roll out embedded smart accounts to customers. If you’re interested in early access, we’d love to talk with you.

The crypto-enabled stack

We're observing widespread adoption of tools designed to streamline on-chain interactions, integrating various technologies to bridge the gap between the visibility and usability of blockchain.

We talk to developers every day, and while people are excited, we also see that making sense of the current crypto stack is harder than ever. Let us break it down with a very simple mental model, the crypto-enabled stack.

Crypto-enabled-stack.svg

At the high level, making onchain actions mainstream there are three layers:

  • The first layer is authentication. The person who is executing the onchain actions
  • The second layer is the signer. The how is authorizing/controlling the actions.
  • The third layer is the smart account. The where are those actions "recorded" and how do they affect the state.

Most embedded wallets only abstract the first two layers, leaving users to deal with UX problems in the transaction flow like insufficient gas errors, frequent signature requests, or private key export.

An embedded smart account abstracts both layers with ERC-4337 smart accounts to make the entire wallet experience invisible.

The authentication layer

The who makes the onchain actions

Traditional blockchain systems often equate users directly with their wallet addresses, leading to a user experience that can be impersonal and intimidating for new adopters. Openfort challenges this by implementing a more nuanced, accessible approach to user authentication.

This layer allows users to log in using conventional methods such as email, social media accounts, or even existing wallet credentials, seamlessly integrating web3 with everyday web experiences. This approach ensures that users, irrespective of their familiarity with blockchain technology, can engage with blockchain-based applications more naturally and securely.

The Openfort Auth architecture allows you to combine existing auth providers tailored for games (e.g Unity Gaming Services) and connect them with multiple accounts. This helps you have richer data baout your users and manage those players more effectively.

The Signer Layer

The how are onchain actions made

The Signer Layer represents the mechanism through which users authorize blockchain transactions. Traditionally, this process has been cumbersome, requiring users to manage private keys and understand complex blockchain concepts.

By decoupling the signer from the user's identity, Openfort enables a more flexible and secure approach to transaction authorization. This layer is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of transactions while providing a user-friendly interface that abstracts away the complexities of key management.

In Openfort’s embedded signer, the Signer Layer works seamlessly with the Auth Layer, ensuring that users can safely and easily authorize transactions without needing to understand the underlying mechanisms. Openfort let's you bring those signer via wallet connectors or simply generate a private key with our custom implementation.

The (Smart) Account Layer

The where are the onchain actions executed

The Account Layer is where the on-chain activities and user assets reside. In conventional systems, this layer is typically merged with the signer, leading to a rigid structure that can be limiting and insecure. Openfort's approach, however, separates the user's account from their signing capabilities, offering enhanced flexibility and control.

This layer utilizes smart accounts, leveraging ERC-4337 standards, to create a more dynamic and user-friendly experience. Users benefit from features such as gasless transactions, automated batch transactions, and enhanced security measures, all while maintaining control over their assets.

Openfort’s Smart Account Layer is designed to work smoothly with the Auth and Signer Layers, creating a cohesive system that enhances user experiences and security. This layer also works smoothly with signers like Metamask or Rainbow as they become the means of controlling the account.

Putting it all together

Openfort_stack.svg

By integrating these three layers - Auth, Signer, and Account - Openfort provides a comprehensive solution that addresses the challenges and limitations of traditional blockchain systems. In the diagram above, you can see how Openfort can be used in various ways, depending on your architecture and target user base.

Games have different needs than web-based applications. Different platforms, architectures and user bases. With Openfort you can plug and play various combinations and configure the setup beyond any wallet extension.

The Road Ahead

Now that the crypto stack has a solid ground, the journey towards seamless account interoperability begins, demanding meticulous attention to security and developer impact across multiple applications. Interoperability unlocks deep benefits for users and developers alike, like:

  • Easier on-ramps—no need to onramp assets again after doing it once.
  • Simple asset visibility—enable devs to view assets across all apps used.
  • Secure asset composability—enable users to act on their assets across apps.

Today, our current offerings include batched transactions to transfer assets to EOA wallets, and communication protocols like WalletConnect. The team is also exploring solutions like linking/unlinking signers and integrations with identity hubs to enable the next generation of connectivity. Stay tuned for more!

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