Beyond Complexity Building a User-Friendly New World with Intent-centric
Intent-centric Building a User-Friendly New World
Imagine this scenario: If you have 1000 USDT on the Ethereum mainnet and want to purchase $OP on the Optimism Layer 2 network’s DEX, what should you do?
First, you need to choose a wallet that supports Optimism and add the corresponding network settings. Then, through a secure cross-chain bridge, you can bridge 1000 USDT and some ETH for gas fees to Optimism. After that, you can connect your wallet to the corresponding DEX and execute the trade. The whole process, although intuitive, involves multiple interactions and waiting for confirmations, as well as potential network fees and transaction slippage. For newcomers to on-chain transactions, each step can be a challenge, which also limits the mass adoption of on-chain applications. So, is it possible to reduce the complexity of on-chain interactions to the same level of simplicity as centralized exchanges (CEX)?
Intent-centric means “centered around intent”. Different from the previous scenario, intent-centric only focuses on the result, not the process. Users only need to issue the instruction “I want to buy $OP on Optimism” and sign it. The intent-centric protocol will coordinate with third parties to complete all necessary steps, thereby lowering the barrier to entry and providing users with a seamless experience similar to Cefi.
There are currently multiple projects exploring intent-centric.
Bob the Solver
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Bob the Solver is an infrastructure based on intent-based transactions that can be integrated into account abstract wallets and decentralized applications. It performed well at the ETHGlobal LianGuairis hackathon and won the Best Use Case award from 1inch. It consists of two parts:
Solver: The Solver is equipped with machine learning to identify user intent and classify it, plan the optimal path to achieve the intent. After determining the path, the solver builds and forwards the necessary transactions to the account abstract wallet to implement the user’s intent.
Account Abstract Wallet (AA Wallet): Responsible for executing transactions, composed of bundler and LianGuaiymaster. The bundler is responsible for receiving and planning the transactions sent by the solver, while LianGuaiymaster is responsible for managing the gas fees associated with these transactions.
Anoma is an intent-centric privacy protection protocol used for decentralized trade partner discovery, parsing, and multi-chain atomic settlement. The core process includes the following steps:
User Interaction: Users can send transparent, private, or protected intents to Anoma’s intent gossip network (P2P network layer).
Intent Collection and Matching: Solvers (can be searchers or other roles) in the network collect intents and perform balanced state transitions to match trade partners.
Transaction Processing: Matched transactions are submitted to the encrypted mempool. Validators send the proposer’s packaged blocks to the execution layer for execution, verification, and eventually complete state root updates.
Anoma’s execution layer is built on Taiga, which is a zk-circuit based on Halo2. This allows Anoma to deploy Ethereum zk-rollups and share some of Ethereum’s security.
In addition to zk-rollup, Anoma can also be used for the fully decentralized development of op-rollup, NFT Marketplace, Dex, and others. It provides a simplified way to build and operate these applications while protecting user privacy and security.
Essential focuses on building intent-based infrastructure and tools to address the issue of MEV (Miner Extractable Value). Its core goal is to reduce the negative externalities caused by MEV, allowing users to achieve their intentions at the lowest cost. Essential plans to establish a solver network to capture user intentions and compete to find the best solutions, transforming profit-seeking searchers into solvers seeking the best solutions for users.
To achieve this goal, Essential is developing a series of products:
Domain-Specific Language (DSL) for intent expression: Essentially a standardized intent language that makes it easier for solvers to understand and infer user intentions.
Intent-centric account abstraction standards for Ethereum and EVM: Solvers need permission to execute on-chain operations, hence the need for account abstraction. The new standard will introduce ERC-4337, delegating solvers to construct efficient transactions to fulfill intents.
Modular intent layer: Designed to address the inevitable design sacrifices when making intent-centric architecture compatible with the underlying infrastructure. Its benefits include:
Simplified architecture: Intent-only approach abandons the concept of transactions, allowing solvers to focus on providing solutions without understanding the dependencies between intent and transactions;
Order flow aggregation: All orders are distributed through the same solver network, ensuring transparency and optimizing user outcomes using multiple sources of liquidity;
MEV resistance: Incentivizing solvers to return more value to users in order to provide the best results;
Modular design: Allowing protocol deployment across multiple stacks and ecosystems, facilitating cross-chain intent execution.
It is worth mentioning that Flashbots’ suave focuses on intent-centric cross-chain MEV extraction. As mentioned earlier, the architecture of suave revolves around the composition of user transaction preferences, namely expression, execution, and settlement of preferences. “Preferences” here can be understood as user intentions with conditions and constraints. Executors of intentions compete and return a portion of the MEV revenue to users to maximize their interests.
Last month, Flashbots launched MEVM, which provides new precompiles for MEV, allowing any centralized MEV infrastructure to be transformed into smart contracts on decentralized blockchains. In addition, MEVM offers privacy and efficiency by moving the computation of sensitive data to off-chain execution nodes. MEVM will greatly enrich the suave chain ecosystem, bring more order flow, and provide users with better results, while proposers will receive higher-quality blocks.
What opportunities does intent-centric have in the future?
Combining intent language with AI: In most cases, user intentions are complex and the expression of intent is insufficient, which can make it difficult for solvers to understand the intent and plan the optimal solution path. AI can be used to more accurately identify user intentions, such as building intent recognition models using machine learning to infer potential purposes and needs based on the source of user transaction requests and transaction data.
Third-party Execution Layer: After the Solver identifies the intent, it will package the transaction process to the third-party execution layer. The execution process often involves complex transaction flows and multiple participants. A fast, accurate, secure, and stable third-party execution layer is key to realizing user intent. However, caution should be taken regarding the centralization problem and DOS attacks of the third-party execution layer.
Mass Adoption of DeFi: Currently, some DeFi projects have adopted an intent-centric approach, such as Cowswap, 1inch Fusion, and UniswapX. Cowswap has introduced Cow Hooks for intent-based AMM exchanges; UniswapX allows users to sign intents, and the solver executes orders off-chain and settles on-chain. With the mass adoption of intent-centric in the DeFi field, it is possible to improve capital efficiency and liquidity provision.
Development of Full-Chain Games: In full-chain games, all game logic and data are stored on the blockchain in the form of smart contracts. Due to limitations such as blockchain speed and scalability, current games cannot support complex game strategies and exquisite graphics. Intent-centric approach in full-chain games can reduce the complexity of player operations. Players only need to issue intent instructions and sign them to complete game operations, instead of approving and signing each step of intent operations, thus improving the player’s gaming experience.
As Web3 continues to develop, user experience and interaction efficiency are gradually becoming the focus. Intent-centric approach allows us to build and operate complex systems in a new way, hoping for a more user-friendly, efficient, and transparent decentralized world.