Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, a global payments technology company operating in over 200 countries, has confirmed that they have deployed its first paymaster smart contract on the Goerli testnet of Ethereum, a smart contracting platform.
Visa Is Experimenting
In a tweet on May 17, 2023, Sheffield said that Visa would continue researching and experimenting with account abstraction and EIP-4337 in the days ahead.
His comments were confirmed by a team member who said that the payments company is actively exploring the potential of smart contracts and the future of programmable money and payments.
As part of its experiment on the Goerli testnet, Visa will look at how it can further take advantage of EIP-4337 in deploying a functional paymaster smart contract to evaluate its utility.
The paymaster is a smart contract account that Visa says sponsors transaction fees for contract accounts. These trials are on Goerli, a public testnet on Ethereum for users to test decentralized applications (DApps) without paying gas fees.
Specifically, the payments technology company will be channeling efforts to look at how best it can deploy the paymaster smart contract to serve its client base. Interestingly, Visa will investigate whether its clients can pay as fees using alternative tokens like USDT and not ETH.
According to Visa, this will help solve real-world problems and enhance the user experience when posting on-chain transactions.
EIP-4337 Could Open Up Ethereum To More Possibilities
EIP-4337 is an improvement proposal recently approved by Ethereum developers and set for mainnet integration. The proposal defines an account abstraction standard for the Ethereum blockchain.
Account abstraction is the idea of separating the logic behind deployed decentralized applications from account management.
Implementing this proposal introduces a “smart account” entirely governed by code. This code manages the social recovery of private keys, for example, or appending multi-wallet signatures.
In this way, more possibilities can be opened up, driving usability. Subsequently, this may accelerate adoption by releasing features such as passwordless login or one-click transactions.
Analysts say the ideas proposed by EIP-4337 will introduce flexibility for entities or individuals designing Ethereum and token wallets. Developers will also be allowed to be more creative while launching wallets that don’t compromise on security or ease of use.
This is not the company’s first foray into the blockchain as Visa has been actively developing Ethereum-based products and even investing in blockchain companies.
In March 2023, the payments company launched a crypto advisory service for its clients. The service is meant to advise companies on the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies, helping them make informed decisions.
In February 2023, Visa invested in Anchorage Digital, a crypto custodian.
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