Decentralized Wallets: a need & a hurdle.

Tasos Kakouris
Jun 11, 2018 · 4 min read
Look on the bright side of life

Centralized wallet is wallet where you don’t have full access over your bitcoin (no private key), but usually they offer service such as instant sell/buy bitcoin, bitcoin credit card or no transaction fee. (Example: Coinbase and Xapo).

Decentralized wallet is wallet where you have full access over your bitcoin (you get private key), but without much service because it’s decentralized. (Example: Electrum and Mycelium)

So, which one is better for you? Centralized wallet or decentralized wallet

An idea was planted in our development team to create a fully decentralized wallet, where everything will take place in the users’ web browser the spring of this year.

Our solution

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To our surprise Blockstack teamed up with Shapeshift and created a bounty for a decentralized wallet that will use Blockstack as the authentication process and include the Shapeshift API for an internal cryptocurrency exchange. This bounty campaign gave value to our wallet proposition as big cryptocurrency companies actually needed a decentralized wallet solution and were willing to pay a bounty for it!

Our wallet, ARCTUS, will provide the following features:

  • Sign in methods
    1. Username / Password
    2. Blockstack
    3. Private Key
    4. JSON File

Here are some screenshots from the wallet:

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1. Login Screen
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2. Coins Selection
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3. Main Wallet Screen
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4. Send Coins Screen
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5. Receive Coins Screen

The problem

Having our wallet in a beta phase at the moment, with the option to login using Blockstack, your private key or create a unique wallet with your username and password we expected users to use the wallet and submit issues regarding it. To our disappointment Metamask blacklisted our website arctus.io as a phishing website…

As we submitted our beta wallet to the Blockstack slack channel to discuss the other users’ opinions regarding our wallet, we received negative feedback as whenever someone tried to visit our website, a big red phishing warning from Metamask popped-up with a forced URL redirect.

Following the usual procedure we submitted an issue to the Metamask phishing plugin’s GitHub repository and waited for a response. We also submitted an email to their support address and tried contacting their developers on Gitter. All with no luck. It has been a week so far and issues on Metamask’s GitHub account newer than ours (also regarding blacklisted websites) have been solved and removed from the issues page.

The above are presented to ultimately end up to the present state of Arctus.io

We are currently not able to submit all the work that has been done to our wallet on the bounty campaign, and users who end up on the landing page of our wallet are notified that ,

MetaMask believes this domain to have malicious intent and has prevented you from interacting with it.

So, after establishing the facts, let us get to our point.

What Metamask tried to do and was successful at it on their onset, was to ultimately make things easier and safer for the end-user; the cryptocurrency initiate, the investor, the trader and the veteran. As we are a team of developers we can easily understand the awe and the sense of accomplishment of building something that you and the community you are included in, believes that is needed. It is also comprehensible that growth and success makes one forget about his roots and the journey of how he reached the big leagues.

The present article aims to remind the Dev Team and heads of Metamask of the importance that giving value to your own past journeys can be important and crucial to the journey that others undertake.

Finally, I’m going to close with the following quote and whomever gets it, well… gets it!

Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Website: https://arctus.io

Wallet: https://wallet.arctus.io

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