Cross-chain Wallets in the Web3 ecosystem
Looking into future of Web-3 wallets and introducing Biport, a natively cross-chain wallet.
While to this day, the most popular self-custodial Web-3 wallet are those focused on just one chain (or, in the case of EVM-compatible chains, a set of them), it’s clear that a Web-3 wallet should evolve to better serve both sophisticated and non-sophisticated users.
The market is still dominated by the wallets that have been the first to the market and have the most extensive user base,, at least partly due to their first-mover advantage. Metamask, the most dominant Web-3 wallet with more than 10 million downloads for its extension in Chrome Store and an additional 10 million in Google Play, was released by Consensys in 2016, less than a year after the Ethereum network itself. Phantom, Metamask’s counterpart focused on the Solana network, was one of the first Solana wallets with more than 2 million downloads in Chrome Store.
Designing a wallet is no easy — as the crypto industry matures, there are more and more potential user groups developers have to target. When Metamask was released, just sending transactions was the only functionality most users desired. Nowdays, with the rise of DeFi and NFTs, wallets have become more of a super-app, or a Web-3 browser. Additional challenge is the different level of sophistication of potential users — while some would desire advance features such as choosing a DeFi provider, others might be confused by how to deal with a recovery phrase. Add to that cross-chain future we’re heading to, and the task of designing a Web-3 wallets becomes even more non-trivial.
As we’re heading toward a cross-chain future, users expecting their Web-3 wallet to support cross-chain functionality. Having a separate wallet extension for each chain, as well as changing network each time user interact with a new chain, is a terrible user experience. The new generation of crypto wallets, such as XDEFI, are able to automatically detect the network Web-3 app is using, as well as automatically add assets to the right network from the user on-chain balance.
Moreover, a cross-chain Web-3 wallet of the next generation should also support an in-app bridging of native tokens, as well as integrated cross-chain DEX for token swaps.
DeFi might be confusing for non-sophisticated users. Web-3 wallets supporting in-app basic DeFi functionality can open the magic of decentralized finance to people that don’t have a desire or time to learn complicated concepts. Deposits to lending markets, swaps, staking services, and some trading functionality should be available from a Web-3 wallet and be as easy as managing finances from a Web-2 banking app.
There is a lot developers can do to make the life of more sophisticated users easier as well. Just showing the balances of LP positions in AMM-based DEXes and other types of yield farms would be a decent upgrade in user experience. Providing advanced features, such as yield aggregation and access to DEX aggregators, such as 1inch would improve UX and security even further.
Eventually, a browser extension wallet, and especially the mobile app, might replace a good part of interfaces and call smart contracts of popular DeFi apps in the backend.
NFTs, being a social and cultural concept, can potentially onboard the next big wave of users to crypto. Hence, it essentialant to provide these users with an easy solution to monitor and potentially trade their artwork most conveniently. This aspect is already recognized by a number of mobile wallets, with even Metamask Mobile providing a very simplistic interface for NFTs.
New developments in NFT space, such as growing popularity of AMMs such as Sudoswap and aggregators such as Gem and Blur, provides new opportunities for wallets to integrate these solutions with an in-app interface.
Biport wallet is a natively cross-chain Web-3 wallet developed by the BIFROST team. With extension already available in Chrome Store, it provides users with frictionless chain-agnostic user experience in five networks — Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Klaytn, and Avalanche, as well as BIFROST Network testnet. With just one recovery phrase, users can access these chains, all the assets on apps on top of them, without a need of changing networks or wallets manually. A mobile app is currently in the beta testing and will soon become available for everyone.
Today, a number of DeFi apps are already integrated into Biport browser extension — lending platform BiFi, DEX aggregator Chainrunner, among others. Following the release of BIFROST Network mainnet and subsequent launch of Cross-chain DEX, its functionality will be integrated into the wallet. We’re planning on integrating the most popular and trustworthy DeFi apps to maximize the wallet for flexibility and better user experience.
If you want to try Biport out, please download the extension from Chrome Store and let us think what do you think.
If you are as excited about the cross-chain future as we are, and want to build cool applications on BIFROST Network, contact us!