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It controls your money, identity and access to dapps but has the potential to do so much more. The browser-wallet is to Web 3.0. what browsers old school browsers such as Chrome and Mozilla are to Web 1.0. No wonder these startups are racing to grab marketshare.
Most dapps are built on the Ethereum blockchain and Metamask is the most popular way to access them. Metamask was developed by software company, Consenys [which funds Decrypt.] The software developer and incubator hit on the need for a browser enabled wallet back in 2015.
Expected within months, a mobile MetaMask could open the door to a multitude of Ethereum-based dapps on mobile: digital art, auctions, the ability to buy and sell unique collectibles and, of course, gaming.
The mobile version aims to make it easy for users to port over and sync their entire wallet to mobile in a few seconds. “This, plus an elegant app dashboard, will be a powerful early interface to the Web 3.0 space,” maintains Ethereum co-founder and Consensys CEO, Joe Lubin.
One of the oldest browser companies on the Web, Opera claims its wallet-browser has 100 million users, which is only available on Android. The company announced today that its users in Norway, Denmark and Sweden can now purchase Ether directly from the wallet. Given the company's history of always pushing the envelope, expect this to roll out globally soon.
Binance targets users who aren't necessarily very technical, and Trust Wallet aims to provide a smooth user experience. The company recently joined the Foundation for Interwallet Operability (FIO)—which also includes the ShapeShift exchange and wallet startups BRD and MyCrypto. A protocol to standardize crypto wallet addresses across currencies and platforms is planned, as are broader fintech features.
It may not be a coincidence that Binance invested $2.5 million in airline payments startup TravelbyBit in 2018. Ticket selling is a primary use-case for its browlett. Event tickets are already being sold in this way, without users even knowing that a wallet is involved.
Previously known as Toshi, Coinbase claims to be the first on the scene; it introduced its rebranded wallet-browser in July.
Like others in this category, the Coinbase Wallet offers access to all dapps. You can store and manage assets and tokens and use names to pay people, rather than unwieldy crypto addresses. Private keys are secured using biometric authentication technology on your mobile phone.
The goal, according to a Coinbase blog post, “is to make managing crypto and accessing the decentralized web as easy as downloading an app on your mobile phone.”
Balance is working on a mobile Ethereum wallet for iOS and Android, set for release in March.
Balance’s goal is to make it easier for people to make and use dapps. With this aim, the company recently released WalletConnect, it's solution for getting dapps and wallets to talk to each other more easily. It features a simple exchange and the facility to interact with dapps on the web using a built-in QR code scanner. The startup is busy experimenting; its founder, Richard Burton, believes “we should not be shy about making breaking changes to dapps now: no one is using them.”
Additional reporting by Guillermo Jimenez.