The Rising Importance of Intents in Web3: Succinct’s Uma Roy
Uma Roy is the co-founder and CEO of Succinct, a startup working on improving interoperability using zk-SNARKs. Though much of her job is spent thinking about how zk-SNARKs can make bridging more secure, Uma also finds herself “motivated by the end user UX.”
She recently spoke to our Variant Founder Fellowship cohort about the difference between intents and account abstraction, interoperability, and how everything comes back to making the user’s life easier.
Below the audio of the conversation, check out three of Uma’s points we’ve been chewing on.
Think in terms of intents.
Whereas a transaction is documented onchain, an intent is “less declarative and more stating an end outcome,” Uma says. For example, one intent would be wanting to exchange your USDC for as much ETH as possible. But that’s easier said than solved—and account abstraction doesn’t fully address it. The path toward making UX better for all users starts with thinking in terms of intents. (Hear why Uma says account abstraction only goes so far at 5:00.)
There are plenty of use cases for intent-based architecture.
The way Uma sees it, there are loads of applications that are already intent-specific. Take a DEX aggregator, which traders use with the intention of getting the best rate regardless of the route. “I think early adoption of intent-based architectures will happen from these aggregator-style apps.” (Hear more use cases for intent-based architecture at 9:50.)
Interoperability needs to focus not only on security but also UX.
Security problems tied to interoperability protocols are well-documented. As Uma says, “Bridges get hacked all the time.” But user experience is just as important: “The future of interoperability can’t look like this if we’re going to have a ton of users and a ton of rollups.” (Hear why she’s been working on shared sequencing in her spare time as a way to improve UX at 20:30.)
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