A beginner’s guide to Chain Abstraction


Ronak Kadhi



Jul 4, 2024

Blockchain technology has revolutionized the digital landscape, but with its rapid expansion comes a set of challenges that can be daunting for both new users and seasoned developers.

The proliferation of multiple rollups and chains has led to fragmented liquidity and complex management, creating a barrier to entry for many. This blog will explore these challenges and introduce the concept of chain abstraction, a solution that promises to simplify the blockchain experience for everyone.

The Problem

Imagine entering the blockchain world, eager to explore its possibilities, only to find your assets scattered across various chains. This is the reality for many users today. With assets spread thin, managing them becomes cumbersome.

For the average user, navigating this complex web of chains is akin to juggling multiple bank accounts, each with its own currency and rules. They must manage separate wallets, keep track of various gas tokens, and constantly switch between networks. This fragmented experience is not just confusing—it's downright intimidating for newcomers, potentially deterring them from exploring the vast potential of dApps.

Not just that—a user wanting funds on a new chain needs to swap or bridge their existing tokens. Bridging itself is complex: the user must identify a bridge that supports the destination chain, approve the transaction, pay gas fees, and then wait for the bridge to transfer the tokens to the new chain. Each of these steps adds friction and increases the chances of a mistake, which might lead to loss of funds, making the user experience even more daunting.

For developers, the landscape isn’t any easier. They face the challenge of user distribution across different chains while their application’s functionality might reside on another. This disconnect limits their applications' potential reach and usability. Moreover, committing to a single ecosystem can restrict their ability to leverage the technical advantages of other chains, stifling innovation and growth.

The Solution: Chain Abstraction

Chain Abstraction aims to make these interactions with multiple blockchains seamless. A user wouldn’t have to care about the underlying technology, hence the complexity of knowing the chain, managing tokens, swapping, etc. 

Theoretically, combining Chain Abstraction with intents is the most UX-friendly solution. Intents and Chain abstraction are complementary concepts that make the user journey seamless. So what are they?

  • Chain Abstraction
    Chain Abstraction is a movement that aims to simplify the user experience of interacting with multiple blockchains and make them a single unified system. Chain Abstraction will let users manage assets seamlessly without managing complex chains, wallets, gas fees, or bridges.

  • Intents
    As the term implies, intent is the simplest expression of a user’s goal. For instance, an intent could be, “A user wants to send Token X to Y chain.” This action is facilitated by various third-party entities such as solvers, relayers, and paymasters (which will be explained in detail later in the blog).

The Cake Framework is an exciting and most widely used approach to chain Abstraction. The cake approach gets us close to the theoretical fully unified UX. Let's break it down.

Source: Cake Framework from Frontier Research 
Note: Glossary at the end to explain all the terms above

Here we have 

  • Application Layer: Applications are the dApps and the Unified UI that help users interact with the main blockchain. This is where users can define their intent based on their needs.

  • Permission Layer: This layer helps manage accounts, permissions, and balances. It is the most significant step in identifying whether the user's intent can be fulfilled. 

Arcana Network falls into this category. Arcana’s robust tech stack comes in handy, leveraging advanced cryptographic techniques like Multi-Party Computation (MPC) and Distributed Key Generation (DKG). The result is a system that’s efficient, trustless and secure. Learn more about how we are solving it at Arcana Network here

  • Solver Layer: This is where transactions are generated, sequenced, and routed to ensure completion. This is a precursor step to finality and is performed mainly by companies that are also the settlement layers. For eg., Across, Socket, Everclear, etc.

  • Settlement Layer: Transaction finality is reached here at this layer. This layer requires settlement across chains, changing the states of both initial and target chains and ensuring that the transaction doesn’t fail.

Why Should You Care?

At Arcana Network, chain abstraction becomes increasingly important as more roll-ups and specialized chains emerge. We recognize that we’re still in the early stages of this evolution, but our ultimate aim remains clear: “Make Web3 Effortless”. As the landscape grows and diversifies, we believe chain abstraction will be crucial in simplifying user interactions and enhancing overall accessibility. Our mission is to lead this movement, developing solutions that hide the underlying complexities and present users a seamless, unified experience.

  • For Developers

    Chain abstraction represents the future of blockchain technology. It allows chains and rollups to be evaluated based on their technical throughput rather than their user base and liquidity. This shift encourages innovation and better technical solutions, freeing developers from the constraints of ecosystem lock-in.

  • For Users

    Life in Web3 is about to get a lot simpler. With chain abstraction, you only need to specify the amount and the destination chain—Arcana takes care of the rest. This seamless experience lowers the entry barrier, making blockchain technology more accessible to everyone.

  • For Investors
    This new meta has the potential to dominate the market. Current bridging solutions process over $1 billion worth of transactions each month. As the user experience of manually bridging assets diminishes, bridges that partner with wallets and liquidity providers will emerge as the real winners. Investing in chain abstraction solutions like Arcana could position you at the forefront of this transformative shift.

Chain abstraction offers a revolutionary way to interact with blockchain technology. Simplifying the user experience and providing more flexibility for developers paves the way for a more efficient and user-friendly Web3 environment. Arcana’s approach demonstrates the power of this concept, delivering a unified, seamless, and cost-effective solution that benefits everyone in the ecosystem.

As blockchain technology evolves, embracing chain abstraction will be crucial in overcoming the challenges of fragmented liquidity and complex management. Whether you’re a developer, user, or investor, the future of blockchain is bright with chain abstraction leading the way.

Official Links:  Website | Telegram | Twitter | GitHub | Discord |


Permission Layer

  • Key Management: Manages cryptographic keys to ensure secure access and transactions within the network.

  • Policies: Defines rules and conditions for executing transactions and operations.

  • Intent: Represents the user’s desired actions or goals, such as transferring tokens or interacting with smart contracts.

  • Account Abstraction: Simplifies user interactions by hiding the complexities of different accounts and operations.

Solver Layer

  • Mempools: Temporary storage areas for pending transactions before the network processes them.

  • Sequencing: Determines the order in which transactions are processed to ensure consistency and fairness.

  • Auctions: Mechanisms for prioritizing transactions based on user bids or fees. 

  • OrderFlow: Manages the flow of transactions to optimize processing and execution.

  • Private Computation: Ensures sensitive data and computations are handled securely and privately.

  • Routing: Directs transactions and data through the most efficient paths in the network.

  • Last Look: Allows a final check on transactions before execution to prevent errors or fraud.

  • Inventory: Maintains records of available resources and assets within the network.

Settlement Layer

  • Oracles: Provide external data to smart contracts, enabling them to interact with real-world information.

  • Bridges: Facilitate the transfer of assets and data between different blockchain networks.

  • Data Availability: Ensures necessary data is accessible for transaction verification and execution.

  • Pre-confirmation: Verifies transactions before final execution to ensure compliance and validity.

  • Execution: Carries out the approved transactions on the blockchain.

  • Proof: Generates evidence of transaction validity and completion for verification purposes.

  • Liquidity: Ensures sufficient assets are available to facilitate smooth transactions and operations.

  • Finality: Confirms that transactions are irrevocable and permanently recorded on the blockchain.

About Arcana Network‍

Arcana Network is building a modular L1 to power Chain Abstraction and intents, helping developers significantly improve user experience in Web3. Since 2021, we've introduced three groundbreaking products.

First up is Auth SDK, a decentralized social login to generate non-custodial Wallets. It is the fastest social login in web3, with a sub-3-second login time, and is free of cost. Games and consumer apps widely use auth SDK to simplify web3 user onboarding. Get a secure, in-app wallet, instantly, with no passwords or installations needed. 

Next, Arcana Gasless is based on ERC-4337 Account Abstraction and enables developers to sponsor gas fees for users. 

Our third product, SendIt, is a consumer app that redefines crypto payments by allowing users to send crypto to an email address, making transactions effortless and inclusive. SendIt has partnered with BNB and OKX.

Arcana has raised $4.5M from 40+ leading investors including Balaji S, Founders of Polygon, John Lilic, Santiago Roel, and funds like Woodstock, Republic, Fenbushi, Polygon ventures, DCG, and others.

Official Links:  Website | Telegram | Twitter | GitHub | Discord

May 20, 2024


Andria Efstathiou

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Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Copyright © Arcana Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and no commitment is required.

Schedule a Demo

The call is completely free and

no commitment is required.