What is EIP-3074? The Ultimate Guide

What is EIP-3074? The Ultimate Guide

EIP-3074 is a proposal that aims to introduce sponsored transactions on the Ethereum network. The goal of this proposal is to enhance the user experience by simplifying transaction processes and reducing costs through third-party transaction sponsorship.

By allowing a third party to pay for gas fees, EIP-3074 seeks to make Ethereum more accessible to a wider range of users, regardless of their familiarity with the intricacies of blockchain technology.

Understanding EIP-3074

EIP-3074, as defined in the official proposal on GitHub, introduces two new operations to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM): AUTH and AUTHCALL. These operations enable third-party transaction sponsorship, allowing a separate entity to cover the gas costs associated with a user's transaction.

The AUTH operation is used to authorize a specific invoker contract to make calls on behalf of the authorizing account. This authorization is recorded in the account's storage and can be revoked at any time by the account owner. The AUTHCALL operation, on the other hand, is used by the invoker contract to execute a call on behalf of the authorizing account. This operation ensures that the call is made with the same context as if the account owner had made the call directly.

Under the proposed EIP-3074, sponsored transactions allow a third party to pay for the gas fees associated with a user's transaction. This mechanism works by having the user sign a transaction without specifying the gas price or limit. The third-party sponsor then provides the necessary gas fees and submits the transaction to the Ethereum network on behalf of the user.

The EIP-3074 proposal on GitHub highlights the benefits of sponsored transactions, which include:

  1. Improved user experience: Users no longer need to manage their own ETH balance for gas fees, simplifying the process of interacting with dApps.
  2. Increased accessibility: By removing the barrier of gas fees, sponsored transactions can help onboard new users who may not be familiar with the concept of gas or have access to ETH.
  3. New business models: Sponsored transactions enable new business models, such as dApps covering transaction costs for their users or subscription-based services that include gas fees.

Addressing the Problems

EIP-3074 aims to solve two significant issues faced by Ethereum users: high gas fees and the complexity of existing solutions like meta-transactions.

Gas fees on the Ethereum network have been a major pain point for users, especially during periods of high network congestion. As the demand for Ethereum's computational resources increases, so do the gas prices, making it expensive for users to execute transactions. This issue is particularly problematic for users with smaller transaction amounts, as the gas fees can sometimes exceed the value of the transaction itself.

Existing solutions, such as meta-transactions, have attempted to address the gas fee issue by allowing third parties to sponsor transactions. However, these solutions often involve complex off-chain systems and require users to trust the third party with their private keys. This complexity has limited the adoption of meta-transactions and has not fully solved the problem of high gas fees.

Research findings from CryptoSlate suggest that EIP-3074 can provide a more elegant and secure solution to the gas fee problem. By introducing a native mechanism for sponsored transactions within the Ethereum protocol, EIP-3074 eliminates the need for complex off-chain systems and reduces the trust requirements for users.

Security Aspects

While EIP-3074 offers significant benefits, it is crucial to consider the security implications of introducing sponsored transactions. The proposal includes several security measures to ensure the integrity of the Ethereum network and protect users from potential attacks.

One key security consideration is the implementation of secure invokers. Invoker contracts, which execute transactions on behalf of users, must be carefully designed to prevent unauthorized access and misuse. The Ethereum Research forum has hosted in-depth discussions on the best practices for implementing secure invokers, including the use of multi-signature schemes and time-locked authorizations.

Another security concern is the potential for phishing attacks, where malicious actors may attempt to trick users into authorizing fraudulent invoker contracts. To mitigate this risk, EIP-3074 includes provisions for a phishing protection registry, which allows users to verify the authenticity of invoker contracts before granting authorization.

EIP-3074 and the Ethereum Ecosystem

The potential impact of EIP-3074 on the Ethereum ecosystem is significant, as it aims to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by users and developers alike. By introducing sponsored transactions, EIP-3074 has the potential to greatly improve the user experience, increase adoption rates, and enable new business models.

One of the primary benefits of sponsored transactions is the removal of the barrier to entry for new users. As Ambire Wallet's blog points out, many potential Ethereum users are deterred by the complexity of managing gas fees and the need to hold ETH in their wallets. With EIP-3074, users can interact with dApps without worrying about these technicalities, as the transaction costs are covered by the sponsors. This simplification of the user experience could lead to a significant increase in adoption rates, as more people find it easier to engage with the Ethereum ecosystem.

Moreover, EIP-3074 opens up new possibilities for business models within the Ethereum ecosystem. For example, dApps could offer sponsored transactions as a premium feature, attracting users who value convenience and simplicity. Alternatively, businesses could bundle transaction costs into their service fees, providing a seamless user experience without the need for users to manage their own gas fees. These new business models could drive innovation and competition within the Ethereum ecosystem, ultimately benefiting the end-users.

Another potential benefit of EIP-3074 is the increased liquidity and velocity of assets within the Ethereum ecosystem. With sponsored transactions, users may be more inclined to move their assets more frequently, as they no longer need to worry about the associated gas fees. This increased liquidity could lead to more efficient markets and better price discovery for various assets within the Ethereum ecosystem, such as ERC-20 tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Current Status and Future Implementation

As of April 2023, EIP-3074 is still in the proposal stage and has not yet been implemented within the Ethereum network. The proposal has garnered significant attention from the Ethereum community, with ongoing discussions and debates regarding its design and potential security implications.

In a recent article by The Block, experts have weighed in on the potential risks associated with EIP-3074, particularly concerning the security of smart contract wallets. Some experts argue that the introduction of AUTH and AUTHCALL operations could potentially expose users to new attack vectors if not implemented properly. Others maintain that the benefits of EIP-3074 outweigh the risks, and that the proposal includes sufficient security measures to mitigate potential threats.

The ongoing debates surrounding EIP-3074 are a testament to the decentralized nature of Ethereum's development process, with community input playing a crucial role in shaping the future of the network. As the proposal continues to be refined and discussed, it is expected that a consensus will eventually be reached on the best way to implement sponsored transactions while ensuring the security and integrity of the Ethereum network.

Once a consensus is reached, the implementation of EIP-3074 will likely be included in a future Ethereum network upgrade, such as the proposed Pectra upgrade mentioned in CryptoSlate. However, the exact timeline for the implementation remains uncertain, as it is subject to the ongoing development and decision-making processes within the Ethereum community.

Linking Account Abstraction

EIP-3074 is closely related to the broader concept of account abstraction (ERC-4337 or EIP-4337), which aims to simplify the user experience and increase the accessibility of the Ethereum network. Account abstraction refers to the idea of making Ethereum accounts more flexible and programmable, allowing users to interact with the network in a more intuitive and user-friendly manner.

As Ambire Wallet's explanation suggests, EIP-3074's sponsored transactions can be seen as a step towards achieving the goals of account abstraction. By enabling third parties to cover gas fees on behalf of users, EIP-3074 removes a significant barrier to entry and makes it easier for users to interact with the Ethereum network.

Moreover, the introduction of AUTH and AUTHCALL operations in EIP-3074 lays the groundwork for more advanced account abstraction features in the future. These operations allow for the creation of smart contract wallets that can execute transactions on behalf of users, opening up new possibilities for user experience improvements and customization.

In the context of account abstraction, EIP-3074 can be seen as a complementary proposal to other initiatives, such as ERC-4337 (Account Abstraction via Entry Point Contract) and RIP-7560 (Native Account Abstraction). While these proposals focus on different aspects of account abstraction, they all share the common goal of making the Ethereum network more accessible and user-friendly.

As the Ethereum community continues to work towards the implementation of account abstraction, EIP-3074's sponsored transactions can serve as an important stepping stone, paving the way for a more inclusive and efficient Ethereum ecosystem.


EIP-3074 represents a significant step forward in Ethereum's ongoing evolution towards a more user-friendly, accessible, and cost-effective platform. By introducing sponsored transactions, this proposal has the potential to revolutionize the way users interact with the Ethereum network, making it easier for both new and experienced users to engage with decentralized applications.

The implementation of EIP-3074 would not only reduce the financial barriers to entry for users but also open up new opportunities for businesses and developers to create innovative solutions that leverage the power of the Ethereum network. As the proposal continues to be refined and debated within the Ethereum community, it is clear that EIP-3074 has the potential to play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Ethereum ecosystem.

As the Ethereum community works towards a consensus on the implementation of EIP-3074, it is essential for users, developers, and stakeholders to stay informed and engaged in the ongoing discussions. By participating in the development process and providing feedback, the community can help ensure that EIP-3074 is implemented in a manner that prioritizes security, usability, and the long-term health of the Ethereum network.

Looking ahead, the successful implementation of EIP-3074, along with other initiatives like account abstraction, could pave the way for a new era of growth and adoption for Ethereum. As the network becomes more accessible and user-friendly, it is likely that we will see an influx of new users and businesses eager to take advantage of the unique benefits offered by decentralized technologies. With the continued support and engagement of the Ethereum community, the future of the network looks brighter than ever.

For more information on Ethereum's ongoing development and other initiatives related to EIP-3074, check out these articles:

  1. Account Abstraction (ERC-4337 or EIP-4337 Explained): Learn more about how account abstraction aligns with EIP-3074's goals for a more accessible Ethereum platform.
  2. What is zkSync Era?: Discover another scalability solution and how it compares to EIP-3074.
  3. What is a Rollup as a Service (RaaS)?: Explore another approach to scaling and reducing transaction costs on Ethereum.
  4. What is Polygon zkEVM?: Gain insights into the broader ecosystem of Ethereum scaling solutions.
  5. Smart Contract Deep Dive: Building Smart Wallets for Individuals and Teams: Take a deeper dive into smart contract development, which is relevant to understanding the technical underpinnings of EIP-3074.
  6. Native Account Abstraction (RIP-7560 Explained): Learn about another aspect of account abstraction, complementing the discussion on EIP-3074 and its relationship to making Ethereum more accessible.