Smart wallet provider Safe is adding ERC-4337 compatibility through its ”Safe Module” plugin system.

ERC-4337 is the Ethereum standard that outlines one possible way that account abstraction can be enabled for a crypto wallet.

Account abstraction is the broader term for turning your wallet into a “smart contract wallet," rather than simply a public and private key pair, granting new functionality like gasless transactions, batch transactions, and social recovery.

"Account abstraction is about fee payment, replay protection, and signature validation. But 4337 only really tackles fee payment stuff," Richard Meissner, Co-Founder and Technical lead at Safe, told Decrypt. "If you want to use 4337 for this fee payment stuff, then you need a Safe Module to use it."


ERC-4337 functions as a transaction relayer for smart contracts, offering an off-chain transaction pool for organizing transactions before relaying them to the blockchain. This unlocks the capability of gasless transactions, adding spending limits, and recurring payments.

Still, Meissner called the standard "restrictive" only it only really addresses fee payment issues—not fully unlocking the capabilities of account abstraction.

"It's something that brought a lot of visibility, that got the community engaged together and we can now have more impact," Meissner explained. "Before it was like: Safe and Argent they want to be considered smart contract wallets. But now, Vitalik is putting his name to it. And, a lot of other ecosystem players—like Alchemy—are putting their name on it. Now we are a bigger team standing behind this narrative"

If account abstraction was a marathon, ERC-4337 is simply the first step.


"4337 was really the trigger for [industry recognition of account abstraction] and I think this is what it will be remembered for," Meissner said. "But, when it comes to the actual implementation, I think this is just the very first starting stone—it is by no means complete. I believe way bigger milestones will be coming up, even in the near future."

How can Safe users implement 4337?

To implement ERC-4337 into their Safe wallet, users will create a Safe Module and then add 4337 functionality.

"With this new version, you can write plugins that take advantage of 4337," Meissner explained. "This is where compatibility opens up for our developer ecosystem. They can suddenly build on top of their Safe [...] and they just have to write minimal code for the plug-in."

Due to the nature of this modular system, users can implement 4337 into their Safe wallet and easily remove the module, if they no longer want it.

"You are able to switch it on and off, and you retain the core properties of the Safe," Anirudh Chohan, Brand Lead at Safe, told Decrypt. "Our stack goes beyond 4337. There's an authentication kit where you can enable social login. You can also on-ramp which we also think is very much an account abstraction subject"

As an Ethereum standard, 4337 is currently only compatible with the Ethereum mainnet and Ethereum virtual machine compatible chains such as Polygon, Arbitrum, and Gnosis Chain.

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