Payments giant Visa proposes to use Ethereum L2 Starknet to boost automatic payments for self-defense wallets

The blog post notes that while Ethereum does not support account abstraction or delegable accounts, the financial services company has implemented a delegable account solution on Starknet, the L2 blockchain network.

Visa expands account abstraction using L2 Ethereum Starknet scaling solution, payment company envisions a future with programmable money.

On December 19, 2022, Visa’s Crypto Thought Leadership blog published an article on programmable money written by Andrew Beams, Catherine Gu, Srini Raghuraman, Mohsen Minaei, and Ranjit Kumaresan. Visa’s paper is about “Automatic Payments for Self-Directed Wallets” and Visa shows that it is possible to leverage Ethereum to run automatic payments from a self-directed wallet solution. However, the concept uses account abstraction, a feature that Ethereum’s core developers are currently improving.

Account Abstraction (AA) is a proposal that attempts to combine user accounts and smart contracts into a single Ethereum account type by making user accounts function as smart contracts“, Visa’s blog post details.

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Payments giant Visa is proposing to use Ethereum L2 Starknet to boost automatic payments for selfie wallets.
Code for Visa’s Starknet account abstraction design.

In order to get around the problem of AA not currently being feasible using Ethereum’s layer one (L1), Visa’s crypto-currency researchers have summarized how they can accomplish automatic payments for self-directed wallets with AA via the L2 Starknet scaling solution. “With Starknet’s account model, we were able to implement our delegable account solution, enabling automatic payments for self-directed wallets“, Visa explains. The company’s blog post adds:

We see automated payments as a critical feature that is missing from the existing blockchain infrastructure.

Visa’s blog post on the topic originally came from a research paper that was published in August 2022. The news follows Visa’s filing of trademark applications in late October 2022 and the trademarks covered a wide range of crypto products, including a wallet. As one of the largest payment networks in the world, Visa said the company wanted to help “Make money and payments programmable.

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In addition to Visa, the world’s second largest payment processor and Visa’s competitor, Mastercard, is also working to make crypto-currency solutions more accessible. In the first week of November 2022, Mastercard stated, “We’re welcoming a new cohort of startups to make digital assets more accessible, create communities for creators, and empower people to innovate for the future with Web3 technologies.

Visa’s statements are akin to the same ideas, and automatic payments from a standalone wallet solution could provide a myriad of concepts. “We shared a novel solution that leverages the concept of account abstraction to provide self-guided wallets with recurring automatic payments capability“, the Visa blog post concludes. “Using the approach we’ve outlined, other real-world applications beyond recurring payments could be brought to the blockchain.

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