What Are Blockchain Intents With SEDA

SEDA
4 min readMar 12, 2024

Blockchain Intents Are The Latest Narrative Driving Web3 Chain Abstraction

The Web3 industry continuously churns out new narratives and critical buzzwords. Taking over the latest Web3 conversations are ‘intents.’ But what are intents, and what is intent-based architecture on the blockchain? You may have recently seen leading research group Frontier Research announce SEDA as a critical partner in the CAKE working group, building for an intent-based, chain-abstracted Web3 future. This blog will explain intents, provide examples, and discuss the positives and negatives of an intent-based, chain-abstracted future.

What Are Blockchain Intents In Web3

What Are Blockchain Intents?

Blockchain intents are user-signed messages that represent a desired outcome. Simply put, they are what the user intends bundled into one transaction intent and approved by a user to be actioned. For Solvers that action a user intent, for example, bridging and staking tokens, the intent is like a redeemable coupon, where the Solver that completes that intent can redeem it for a fee.

Within blockchain infrastructure, users performing cross-chain or multi-chain actions are required to micro-manage every step of the journey. Although the word may be new, traditionally, finance users issue intents every day. For example, buying stock from a bank account can be as easy as issuing the intent ‘buy $100 of X stock from my main account’. Then, the bank application takes the request and actions the stock purchase without the buyer knowing every action to execute the request.

A common metaphor for understanding intents is that when purchasing an Uber, the driver must know your destination. With this destination intent, the driver takes you there without you needing to micro-manage and direct the driver at each turn.

What Is The State Of Blockchain Intents Today?

Imagine you have $500 on Ethereum and wish to stake that value into a staking dApp on Optimism. The users intend to stake $500 on an Optimism dApp. However, in reality, the user must connect their wallets to an Ethereum — Optimism bridge, ensure they have gas tokens on both chains and approve the wallet connection and transaction just to get the value moved across chains. Additionally, the user must connect their Optimism wallet to the desired dApp and follow each step to finalize their stake. It’s easy to see that a simple intent of staking $500 in value becomes an incredibly complex and micro-managed step-by-step process.

Why Are Intents So Important?

Building blockchain architecture to empower intent execution is the key to deploying user-friendly, familiar, and intuitive experiences in Web3. As we flip the current model on its head and allow for intent execution, users in Web3 can interact with any dApp on any network simply by expressing their desired outcome. Interacting with any chain from any single entry point is known as chain abstraction, enabled by intent-based blockchain architecture. Imagine using one wallet in one app to stake your tokens wherever you want to. This is the power of intents and chain abstraction.

Risks And Benefits Of Intents

The benefits of ‘intents’ become pretty straightforward, such as chain abstraction allowing for intuitive and familiar user interfaces to simplify the user journey while interacting with multiple chains from one place. Ultimately, intents will enable Web3 dApps to feel just like traditional Web2 apps from a user perspective while maintaining decentralization, security, and ownership in Web3.

Censorship and power vacuums are the most significant risk factors surrounding intents. Solvers, the technology used to carry out a transaction on behalf of a user, can quickly become subject to censorship and monopolization due to extreme competition. If one company were to control a majority of solvers, it would be possible to see common Web3 malpractices such as transaction frontrunning, censorship, and value extraction common with MEV and OEV. Having early access to cross-chain transaction intents before or after they are settled allows various opportunities to submit solver-benefiting transactions before the transaction execution is finalized.

SEDA & CAKE Building For An Intent-Based Future

Recently, Frontier Research announced that SEDA, among several other projects, is working together to develop the standards of a chain-abstracted future. A chain-abstracted tech stack has four layers.

Application Layer: Where a user interacts with a dApp.
Permission Layer: Where an intent viability is proven.
Solver Layer: Where an intent pathway and fees are developed.
Settlement Layer: Where the intent is executed.

SEDA lives within the settlement layer, sending intent-execution proofs between chains. Protocols can issue any data intent that SEDA executes through the solver network to query any data available from any network source. SEDA has been built to power permissionless, chain-agnostic data querying across over 230 blockchain networks from its genesis block. Being highly programmable by design, projects via SEDA can query highly complex blockchain intents across any network on a 100% permissionless basis. This places SEDA in an incredibly advantageous position as a critical intent-enabling infrastructure for Web3.

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SEDA

SEDA is a modular data layer that allows any blockchain to configure & interact with custom data feeds for price data, RPC data, or any available API endpoint.