EVM vs. SVM: Accounts

See how accounts differ when building on Ethereum and Solana.

Table of Contents

'Account' in Ethereum

'Account' in Solana

Account abstraction

Is account abstraction implemented in Solana?


As blockchain networks, Ethereum and Solana possess unique data structures, functioning as global public world computers that store and share data on their networks. In this chapter, we aim to explore how these chains structure their data sets.

'Account' in Ethereum

In Ethereum, an 'account' refers to an entity that owns Ether and can send transactions. It includes addresses necessary for deposits and withdrawals and is categorized as follows:

  • EOA (Externally Owned Account): An account owned externally, possessing a private key. Think of it as an account for an individual's wallet.
  • CA (Contract Account): An account for contracts, holding smart contract code.

A key difference between EOA and CA in Ethereum is that EOA, not being a smart contract, typically does not have its own storage. Therefore, the code hash of an EOA is set to a 'null' hash, indicating that the account does not have storage.

Field Description

An Account’s address


The amount of ETH (in wei) an address owns.


A counter that shows the number of transactions sent from the account to ensure transactions are processed only once. with smart contracts, it reflects the number of contracts created by the account.

code hash

The code of an account on the EVM.

storage hash (storage root)

A 256-bit hash of the root node of a Merkle Patricia Tree that encodes the storage contents of the account. This tree encodes the hash of the storage contents of this account, and is empty by default.

An Externally Owned Account (EOA) is an account with a private key, and possessing a private key means controlling access to funds or contracts. The private key implies control over access to funds or contracts. The following data are included in an EOA:

A Contract Account contains smart contract code that simply cannot be held by an EOA. Additionally, a Contract Account does not have a private key. Instead, it is controlled by the logic of the smart contract code. This smart contract code, recorded on the Ethereum blockchain when the Contract Account is created, is a software program executed by the EVM.

Like an EOA, a Contract Account has an address and can send and receive Ether. However, when a transaction's destination is a Contract Account address, the transaction and transaction data are used as input for the contract to be executed in the EVM. In addition to Ether, the transaction can include data indicating a specific function of the contract to execute and parameters to pass to that function. Thus, a transaction can call functions within a contract. If requested by an EOA, contracts can also call other contracts. However, since a Contract Account does not have a private key, it cannot sign for transactions and cannot initiate transactions on its own. The relationships are summarized as follows:

  • EOA → EOA (OK)
  • EOA → CA (OK)
  • EOA → CA → CA (OK)
  • CA → CA (Impossible)

'Account' in Solana

The concept of an Account in Solana is somewhat broader than in Ethereum. In Solana, all data is stored and executed based on Accounts. This means that in every case where state needs to be stored between transactions, it is saved using accounts. Similar to files in operating systems like Linux, accounts can store arbitrary data that persists beyond the lifespan of a program. Additionally, like a file, an account contains metadata that informs the runtime about who can access the data and how.

In Solana's Sealevel VM, all accounts are capable of storing data. So, where can smart contract developers store their data? They can store data in non-executable accounts (PDAs) owned by an executable account. Developers can create new accounts by assigning an owner identical to the address of their executable account to store data.

Field Description

The number of lamports owned by this account. The equivalent of balance.


The program owner of this account.


Whether this account can process instructions.


The raw data byte array stored by this account.


The next epoch that this account will owe rent.

However, 'accounts' on the Solana network, which store data, require the payment of a fee. These accounts include metadata about the lifespan of the data they contain, represented in terms of a native token called 'Lamports'. Accounts are stored in validators' memory and pay 'Rent' to remain there. Validators periodically scan all accounts and collect rent. Accounts whose Lamports fall to zero are automatically deleted since they can't pay for their rent. If an account contains a sufficient quantity of Lamports, it becomes exempt from rent, and no rent fees are deducted separately.

Solana's accounts are divided into the following two types, similar to Ethereum:

  • Executable account (program account): These are smart contracts that store code, often referred to more simply as "programs".
  • Non-executable account (data account): These can receive tokens or data but cannot execute code, as the executable variable is set to 'false'.

(*Unlike Ethereum, Solana uses the term 'Program' instead of 'Contract'.)

A comparison of the account structures in each chain reveals the following differences.

Ethereum's Account Solana's Account
Account owner
balance lamports
nonce [no equivalent]
code hash executable && data
storage hash data
code hash executable && data
[no equivalent] rent_epoch

Then, how do EOA and CA correspond to Solana's Account structure? They can be mapped as follows.

EOA (Externally Owned Account, Wallet)

  • → non-executable, data accounts
  • However, individual wallets on Solana are composed of a collection of data accounts, which are a broader concept than EOA.

CA (Contract Account)

  • → executable, program accounts
  • While sharing the same concept, Ethereum's CA cannot execute transactions on their own; they must be executed by EOA.

EOA (Externally Owned Account, Wallet)

→ non-executable, data accounts

However, individual wallets on Solana are composed of a collection of data accounts, which are a broader concept than EOA.

CA (Contract Account)

→ executable, program accounts

While sharing the same concept, Ethereum's CA cannot execute transactions on their own; they must be executed by EOA.

Account abstraction

Ethereum has long been exploring the concept of account abstraction. There are two types of accounts in Ethereum: EOAs and CAs, each with distinctly different functions. Notably, contract accounts (CAs) cannot generate or sign transactions, leading to significant limitations. Transactions must be initiated and signed through an EOA, which implies the use of a base fee of 21,000 gas and adds to the complexity of account management. Account abstraction aims to eliminate these constraints, allowing a single account to perform the functions of both EOAs and contract accounts.

Consequently, the following adjustments can be made to the chart:

  • EOA → EOA (OK)
  • EOA → CA (OK)
  • EOA → CA → CA (OK)
  • EOA + CA (AA) → CA (now, OK!)

For example, multisig wallets or smart contract wallets need to store a small amount of Ethereum in a separate EOA to pay for transaction fees, leading to the inconvenience of having to replenish it over time. Account abstraction allows a single account to execute contracts and issue transactions, improving this inconvenience. Through ERC-4337, Vitalik proposed this concept to the community, and it was adopted in 2021, now implemented in the Ethereum network.

In summary, account abstraction offers the following benefits:

  • Others paying my transaction fees, or me paying for others.
  • Paying fees with ERC-20 tokens
  • Setting custom security rules.
  • Account recovery in case of key loss.
  • Sharing account security among trusted devices or individuals.
  • Batch transactions (e.g., authorizing and executing a swap in one go).
  • More opportunities for dapp and wallet developers to innovate the user experience.

Is account abstraction implemented in Solana?

Solana had implemented Account Abstraction (AA) since its launch. As discussed earlier, Solana stores all data in units called 'accounts', divided into executable (program accounts) and non-executable (data accounts). From the beginning, Solana supported the ability for programs to create and manage specific accounts (i.e., directly initiate transactions). This feature, extending account abstraction capabilities in Solana, is known as Program Derived Addresses (PDAs). Solana programs, unlike data accounts, are executable accounts containing executable code. With PDAs, developers can set rules and mechanisms for transaction signatures, allowing various on-chain actions to be autonomously authorized on behalf of a controlled account (PDA) recognized and approved by the Solana network. Therefore, unlike Ethereum, Solana allows direct control of another program based on a Solana program without cumbersome layering.


  • Solana's Account concept structures all data on the chain, with all data being based on Accounts.
  • Solana natively supports AA, enabling self-calling between programs.

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