Vitalik Buterin's Ethereum Wallet Proposal, Scribbled in 22 Minutes, Gets Positive Reviews

After a technical proposal to improve Ethereum wallets met with some opposition, a familiar figure swooped in last week to devise an alternative.

AccessTimeIconMay 14, 2024 at 7:47 p.m. UTC
Updated May 14, 2024 at 7:50 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

After a technical proposal to improve Ethereum wallets met with some opposition, a familiar figure swooped in last week to devise an alternative: none other than Vitalik Buterin, the blockchain's co-founder.

It reportedly took him 22 minutes.

The origin of the story dates back to last month, when Ethereum developers decided to include Ethereum improvement proposal EIP-3074 – allowing for certain functions in wallets to be controlled by smart contracts – in its next big network upgrade, known as the Pectra hard fork.

The work to make Ethereum wallets less clunky is part of a technological move called account abstraction, in which Ethereum externally-owned account (EOA) wallets, the most popular on the blockchain, are turned into smart-contract wallets.

After EIP-3074 was released, some in the community praised the proposal, while others expressed their displeasure. The main concern was that it was not compatible with an earlier proposal, called ERC-4437, which has been on mainnet since February 2023.

A couple days after EIP-3074 was released, Buterin co-wrote a new one, EIP-7702, which serves as an alternative to what is now included in the upcoming Pectra upgrade.

Ethereum core developer Ansgar Dietrichs, who co-wrote EIP-3074 and EIP-7702 with Buterin, said in an interview with CoinDesk via chat that the newest proposal was “the result of a week or so of him being involved in the account abstraction research conversation.”

After the research was done, Dietrichs said, Buterin “indeed speedran the process of writing that EIP.”

“I challenged him to do it in 15," Dietrichs recalled. "It took him 22.”

Since the release of EIP-7702, many have praised the alternative, and it seems likely to replace the original EIP-3074.

"There is positive sentiment among all stakeholder groups" for Buterin's alternative, Christine Kim, a vice president of research at the digital-asset firm Galaxy, wrote in a May 20 research note.

Jarrod Watts, the developer relations engineer at Polygon, wrote on X that “It's one of the most impactful changes Ethereum is going to have... EVER.”

For now, EIP-3074 is still considered to go live with Pectra. That might change once the details of EIP-7022 are worked out.

“People are still understanding the exact differences to 3074,” Dietrichs told CoinDesk. “But I would say it’s pretty likely that we will replace 3074 with it.”

Galaxy's Kim suggested that the episode offered an example of how Ethereum's decentralized governance works in practice.

"It can result in constructive dialogue between different stakeholder groups in an open-source project that ultimately results in a new path forward with higher consensus among participants than before," Kim wrote.

Once Buterin got involved, it didn't take long.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Margaux Nijkerk

Margaux Nijkerk reports on the Ethereum protocol and L2s. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Emory universities, she has a masters in International Affairs & Economics. She holds a small amount of ETH and other altcoins.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.