MetaMask Monthly: February, 2021

Talia Knowles-Rivas
Mar 8 · 6 min read

This month, we introduced improved support for Layer 2 networks to help sites onboard more users to Layer 2, started running LavaMoat on our Extension’s build system for enhanced security, crowned two EthDenver winners for their epic #hackforgood projects, and planned a revamp of our Community Support capability.

Connect Users to Layer 2 networks with the MetaMask Custom Networks API!

#NewProductLaunch

Our new Custom Networks API is the latest step on the way to seamless cross-chain user experiences in MetaMask. It allows developers to recommend a variety of chains to their users, including Layer 2 networks like Polygon (formerly Matic), Arbitrum, and Optimism; sidechains like SKALE and xDAI; and indeed any EVM-compatible chain, including enterprise networks and testnets. These networks are then added to the user’s network menu with a simple confirmation, and the user is able to switch between networks using the familiar network switching menu.

We are excited to support the growth of Layer 2 networks, and look forward to seeing what the Ethereum community will build with cheaper and faster transactions. Even so, keep in mind that not all networks are created equally, and they make different trade-offs in order to scale. Be sure to understand the security and reliability tradeoffs of any network you add to MetaMask, and ensure that you trust the site recommending a new network. We encourage all users to read our guide to using custom networks in MetaMask.

Check out our docs to start recommending L2 networks to your users. If you’re a wallet developer interested in implementing this method, you will also want to check out the EIP-3085.

We are now running LavaMoat on our extension’s build system

#security

From design to engineering and beyond, security is the core of everything we do at MetaMask. For a couple of years now, we’ve been working on a tool called LavaMoat. LavaMoat is a set of tools that protects projects from malicious code in the software supply chain.

@lavamoat/allow-scripts is a lightweight tool that enables developers to explicitly allow the execution of npm lifecycle scripts, such as pre-install & post-install for a trusted package as needed. The philosophy is that 3rd party software doesn’t automatically get permission to run in an unsafe environment like the command line, they must be explicitly granted.

This tool has the potential to drastically mitigate attacks. All it takes is a simple install and quick configuration. To learn more about this tool and how to configure it, check out our recent post.

Are you a Dev? Want more Dev-focussed tips and tricks in your inbox? Sign up to our Dev Updates list here.

Read more about how the recent HardHat hack could’ve been avoided by developers using @lavamoat/allow-scripts!

What’s New in MetaMask Mobile?

#Mobile

While our mobile team is heads-down building out our next major mobile feature, they’ve still managed to ship some important fixes with the v1.0.11 release.

Bug fixes: v1.0.11 now displays;

  • Better error handling when unable to load a token’s balance;
  • The correct token amount displayed on the payment request confirmation screen and the token allowance approval request.
  • Web3 sites using Cloudflare are now working on the in-app browser
  • Resolved the error “Text strings must be rendered within a component.”

Shout out to dev community members who contributed to this release: nlordell for submitting a pull request, and ravisriv for opening very well described bug reports!

Additional changes: If you want to start using a different wallet, you can logout, and ‘Reset wallet’. This flow guides people to safely set-up a new one without having to reinstall the app.

MetaMask Support is Moving to Discourse

#Support

From March 8, we’ll be migrating MetaMask Support to the Discourse platform, to better serve our community 🎉 Discourse allows us to deliver a better customer experience to our users, offers better discoverability across Support topics, and facilitates better knowledge-sharing between MetaMask community members so users can also help fellow Foxes in need.

What do you need to do? Nothing! Oh, actually, you should keep an eye out for the announcement on March 24 EST and bookmark the link 🔖

EthDenver Bounty Winners

#Community

One of MetaMask’s core values is to create tools that empower the decentralized community to produce work that benefits humanity. These values roll out of our ultimate vision for the product: to contribute to a transformation of the internet and world economy, into one that empowers individuals through interactions based on consent, privacy, and free association.

This year at EthDenver, instead of encouraging developers to hunt down bugs or integrate our services, we decided to put up two hackathon prizes to encourage developers to build a project with MetaMask that promoted social good.

We were so inspired by the winning projects that we decided to give them a shout out on the MetaMask blog. Without further ado, meet the projects that scooped the MetaMask Social Good Bounties!

Winner: CryptoPlants: Save the planet with awesome NFTs

The problem

NGOs routinely spend 10–15% of their funds on paid marketing to drum up donations — but ROI is low. It’s hard to convince someone to donate. In parallel, more and more people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on crypto collectables.

The opportunity

Use NFTs to gamify donating and turn a donation into a crypto-collectable, delivering better returns to NGOs.

The pitch

CryptoPlants: where CryptoKitties meets climate. Invest in the earth with ERC721 powered crypto plants, and receive digital art for your donation.

“CryptoPlants is a crowd-funding platform for environmental and social causes. It works towards SDG 13- partnerships for the goals. Any organization working on SDG 1–17 (food, health, education, climate action, etc) can join our DAO.

Users earn CryptoPlants by buying ‘seeds’ from listed NGOs. Each seed sponsors a specific cause like food donations or reforestation. CryptoPlants are unique NFTs that can be gifted, traded or sold. The idea is to gamify donations and turn them into status and currency.”

Web3 stack

IPFS, Node.js, OpenZeppelin, Heroku, Truffle, Ethereum, Textile.io, Chainlink, reactjs and Ceramic.

With this project, users can collect and resell rare digital plants, offset carbon emissions, broadcast their charitable contribution by showcasing their CryptoPlant collection, and know exactly how their donation was used.

Runner-Up: StarRelay

The problem

Raising awareness of a condition like ALS can be costly and inefficient. This team believed that, with the use of blockchain technology, the process of raising awareness and money could be streamlined in an engaging way.

The pitch

“Film yourself doing something cool and challenge your friends and their friends to do the same! Own the historical moments of video relay challenges and sponsor your favourite charity cause!”

Enter Star Relay. The project provides creators with the ability to add a charity address to their content and messaging, so donations can be deposited directly, and the dispersion of those funds is made completely transparent.

There is also the opportunity to bundle all the content of a challenge together and tokenize it. One token could represent participating in an initiative like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and the value of that token could be donated to a charity.

Additionally, Star Relay could use ERC20 tokens to badge challenge participants, or reward high-performing charity challenge content.

Web3 stack

IPFS, MetaMask, Truffle, Ethereum, unstoppable domains, Chainlink, TheGraph, Ceramic, Soldity.

Congratulations to both teams on their incredibly creative applications of MetaMask to help facilitate more social good use cases. You’ve inspired us, and we can’t wait to hear more about these projects as they evolve in the wild.

Join the MetaMask Team

#hiring

We’re hiring JavaScript (and TypeScript!) engineers to help us build secure, delightful, and extensible software that makes the decentralized web accessible for everyone.

Explore our open roles and apply here.

Keep on exploring! Remember, if you ever need a little help, head to our Community Support Channel or jump into the MetaMask Discord to connect with the team. Prefer these updates in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletter here.

MetaMask

MetaMask is a bridge that allows you to visit the…

MetaMask

MetaMask is a bridge that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow in your browser today. It allows you to run Ethereum dApps right in your browser without running a full Ethereum node.

Talia Knowles-Rivas

Written by

Global clean-tech marketing leader. Transforming the way our homes use & produce energy. Formerly crypto, Google & Facebook. Twitter: @tknowlesrivas

MetaMask

MetaMask is a bridge that allows you to visit the distributed web of tomorrow in your browser today. It allows you to run Ethereum dApps right in your browser without running a full Ethereum node.