Intro: What is Generalized Abstraction?
Generalized Abstraction is a unique and all-encompassing infrastructure solution aimed at removing inherent crypto complexities for all users. The crux of this innovation is XION’s implementation directly at the protocol level, which seamlessly abstracts accounts, signatures, gas, interoperability, pricing, devices, payments, and more. In doing so, through a holistic approach, XION lays a robust foundation for the next-generation of projects to bring the promises of Web3 to mainstream audiences worldwide.
XION’s Protocol-Level Abstraction
XION’s innovation lies in its approach to abstraction, which is built in directly at the protocol level. This greatly simplifies the entire technological stack, as can be seen in the graphic above, and has numerous benefits. These encompass not only superior solutions compared to current offerings, but also provide a foundation for flexibility in accommodating future innovations. Below we outline issues found in other ecosystems, especially in the EVM, and how XION is engineered to solve them.
Fragmentation: XION resolves multiple fragmentation issues found in other Smart Contract Account ecosystems.
The first is stack fragmentation – as can be seen in the graphic above, the EVM technological stack has many different layers. For an application to offer Smart Contract Account support, it takes 4+ separate companies on EVM to provide the same functionality that XION provides at the base-level.
The second is standard fragmentation – an age-old technological dilemma. A perfect example, covered in depth by Rui from SevenX Ventures, is the Safe approach versus the Diamond approach (ERC-2535 Diamond Proxies). In addition, across the technological stack, multiple companies compete at each level. This forces developers and users to have to decide which platform to use for each of the functionalities. Through protocol-level standardization, XION eliminates any present or future incompatibility of standards.
The third is user fragmentation – existing ecosystems are facing fragmentation issues due to an inability for existing Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs) to be upgraded seamlessly to Smart Contract Accounts (SCAs). Again, XION’s protocol-level solution eliminates this both now and in the future.
Cryptographic Future-Proofing: XION’s protocol-level solution is signature curve agnostic, allowing it to seamlessly cater to many existing cryptographic curves – Ethereum’s Secp256K1, Solana’s Ed25519, the global standard’s Secp256R1, JWT’s RS256, etc. – as well as any future cryptographic developments. This obviously has enormous benefits over existing smart contract account solutions in terms of interoperability, market reach, and long-term adaptability.
Upgradeability, Cost, and Security: XION’s infrastructure has significant benefits as they relate to upgradeability, cost, and security.
Upgradeability: The ease of upgradeability provided by a protocol-level solution provides XION with developmental speed enhancements in the orders of magnitudes. One of the biggest hurdles to upgrading existing infrastructure in other ecosystems, especially at the consensus layer, is the effects it has on existing applications as it may break their functionality. This is mitigated by XION’s implementation, and in addition, it also allows existing protocols that don’t currently use Generalized Abstraction to seamlessly integrate it into their stack, as well as any future upgrades.
Cost: The financial aspect of deploying, simulating, and executing smart accounts on EVM is quite substantial, often acting as a deterrent for many potential adopters. XION's innovative tech-stack and the low fee structure eliminate this cost barrier entirely, making it a more accessible and cost-effective solution for both developers and users. In addition, its low fees enable smart contract accounts to perform much more computationally intensive operations.
Security: XION’s solution, naturally, does not introduce an alternate mempool (unlike ERC-4337). This mitigates many risks found in other ecosystems as they relate to centralization, MEV capture, fragmentation, and censorship. When combined with its modular and upgradeable design, which provides the developmental speed enhancements mentioned, XION is engineered to be extremely secure and resilient in the long-term.
XION’s Generalized Abstraction: A Full-Scale Solution
In addition to the benefits of protocol-level abstraction mentioned above, XION’s Generalized Abstraction is also the only full-scale, all-encompassing solution in the industry.
For abstraction to effectively solve adoption issues, a seamless integration of all aspects of the user journey is imperative. Incremental solutions, such as adding the ability for a user to login with their email, might simplify one step of the user onboarding process, but if the user is then met with 15 additional steps to understand and manage gas fees, acquire tokens, grasp the inherent value of those tokens, etc., the initial simplicity becomes moot. Although there are intriguing attempts to address adoption pain points in the industry, the fundamental difference of protocol-level infrastructure combined with a holistic approach makes XION’s solution much more sustainable, flexible, and viable in the long term.
The robustness of XION’s Generalized Abstraction is highlighted below through seven distinct facets, each addressing specific industry pain points. In addition, through its modular design, XION enables many more future extensions.
Account Abstraction: XION pioneers modular account abstraction at the protocol level.
Traditional wallets are notorious for causing a staggering 95%+ drop-off in user onboarding. The necessity to download plugins, endure complex setups, navigate confusing pop-ups, understand and safely store seed phrases, and cope with a generally off-putting user experience are major deterrents for non-technical users. The antidote to this is account abstraction and the initiation of smart contract accounts (SCAs). Not only do they allow familiar login methods such as email for users, but they also unlock other security enhancements like account recovery, account permissioning, and much more. In addition, XION’s abstract accounts remain invisible to the rest of the protocol. This design, subtle yet impactful, ensures that developers can focus on creating value without needing to make any special considerations for these accounts.
Signature Abstraction: Through complete Signature Abstraction, XION breaks the mold as the first chain to support signing across all cryptographic curves.
This breakthrough means XION enables the signing of transactions using Apple’s FaceID, Passkeys, JWTs, EVM curve, Solana curve, and beyond. Moreover, given XION’s modular approach, it's primed for extending support to many more signature schemes as new ones emerge, rendering XION ‘future-proof’. Also, when utilizing non-wallet authenticators like JWTs, FaceID, NFCs, ZKs, and the likes, no trusted proxies or oracles are needed since communication occurs directly against the chain. This not only heightens security but also aligns perfectly with the Web3 ethos of trustlessness.
Payment Abstraction: XION streamlines payments via direct credit and debit card transactions, eradicating the traditional purchasing complexities seen in other chains, courtesy of its unique fee abstraction.
In conventional chains, the current process of purchasing items on-chain with fiat is a herculean task, often involving 15+ steps and sometimes extending over a week to complete. A user must endure the ordeal of signing up to a centralized exchange, performing KYC, waiting for their money to transfer, dealing with wallets, bridging the funds, swapping to the correct currency, and more before making a purchase. Contrary to this, XION, with 95%+ authorization rates, instantly reaching around 6 billion credit/debit card holders, and facilitates purchases in less than 60 seconds from start to finish, offers a purchasing experience that truly mirrors that of a familiar Web2 e-commerce website.
Gas Abstraction: XION completely removes the concept of gas fees from the end user’s perspective.
Gas fees have been one of Web3’s biggest hurdles for new users. Besides introducing an unfamiliar concept to new users, the process of acquiring the necessary gas tokens is a major barrier to entry in most ecosystems. This turns out to be a significant barrier not just for end-users but app builders as well, as they are burdened with gas management and procurement. XION entirely eradicates this entry barrier for users by leveraging its protocol-level abstraction and built-in paymasters.
Abstracted Interoperability: XION is truly interoperable with all ecosystems, allowing users the power to initiate cross-chain one-click checkout and staking with any token.
Especially in an industry flush with different chains and tokens, it’s pivotal for XION to be accessible to all users. Through its Abstracted Interoperability, XION taps into the liquidity of all ecosystems by enabling users from any chain and with any token to transact/stake/and ultimately operate with XION seamlessly.
Device Abstraction: XION fully abstracts away the concept of wallet plugins or apps, enabling users to access their XION accounts in myriad ways—whether it's by email, FaceID, Passkeys, or other methods — providing robust support and efficient operations across various devices.
The ability to effortlessly support all devices, especially mobile, is the gateway to true retail adoption. A significant chunk of all digital interactions occur on mobile devices. However, the current mobile crypto wallets are a security risk, don’t translate well between different devices, require users to unsafely travel with their seed phrase, and the current UI/UX of in-app browsers is incredibly under-performant. XION’s infrastructure, on the other hand, ensures ease of access to accounts from any device. Moreover, it allows the separation of login from assets, creating a safe avenue for users to interact with new apps without putting their assets at risk. In essence, it permits users to access XION’s ecosystem anytime, anywhere, safely.
Pricing Abstraction: XION is the first chain to utilize familiar fiat-denominated pricing throughout the chain, made possible by combining multiple facets of its abstraction.
This innovation has many benefits related to security, stability, and familiarity. Given USDC is native to the ecosystem, users don’t have to worry about bridging risks. In addition, fiat-denominated assets eliminate price volatility, enabling many consumer-facing use-cases not previously possible. Lastly, it enables all assets on XION to be denominated in familiar currency to everyday users.
Conclusion: An Extensible Future
With the introduction of a modular Generalized Abstraction layer at its core, XION has pioneered a full-scale solution to the critical issue of user adoption. In tackling the inherent complexities of crypto at the protocol level, XION has both simplified the technological stack and strategically positioned itself as a foundational layer for future innovation. Its robust infrastructure is engineered for both seamless interoperability with all current ecosystems, and long-term adaptability to future developments.
XION's Generalized Abstraction paves the way for an abundance of innovation built on top of its unique primitives. It endeavors to make Web3 accessible to all users through its multi-faceted approach spanning accounts, signatures, payments, gas, interoperability, devices, and pricing. By encapsulating these complex elements under a unified, protocol-level abstraction layer, XION significantly propels the crypto industry closer to mainstream adoption.