Mainstream Ethereum Wallet: MetaMask Unveils Mobile App Beta

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Download away, as popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask has now opened a public beta for its Android and iOS mobile apps.

Unfurled on July 22nd, the mobile app beta will be used to “gather feedback from the community before our V1 launch this fall,” the MetaMask team said.

The MetaMask web extension has already proven to be among the most popular cryptocurrency wallets in the Ethereum ecosystem. The San Francisco-based wallet makers had announced plans for an associated mobile app at the Devcon 4 conference last fall.

MetaMask’s mobile app is now available for public beta! With MetaMask mobile, users can now manage their digital assets, use dapps, and send ETH or tokens to anyone, anywhere. Read our feature guide and walk-through here!https://t.co/Cuup7LiumN

— MetaMask (@metamask_io) July 23, 2019

The new Android and iOS apps will also serve as mobile browsers, which will allow users to interact directly with Ethereum dapps right from within the MetaMask app. As the company explained on Tuesday:

“Rather than just another wallet, MetaMask Mobile is a bridge to the decentralized web, with a dapp-centric browsing experience, intuitive on-boarding, and features that sync with your desktop MetaMask accounts.”

On that last point, users who download one of the mobile apps will be able to sync their web wallet accounts using a QR code provided within the browser extension or a private key.

As far as features go, the apps will support Ethereum Name Service domains, cryptocurrency collectibles built on the ERC-721 token standard (e.g. CryptoKitties), biometric security, and integration with Connext Network’s InstaPay, which lets users make free payments through layer-two payment channels.

Layer Two Implications in the Here and Now

Layer-two solutions like the Lightning Network are routinely touted as one way to scale public blockchain infrastructure like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Much work has been done on state channels and payment channels to date, but these second-layer solutions have yet to make deep inroads toward mainstream adoption. In that context, the integration of InstaPay in MetaMask’s mobile apps is certainly an early and notable stab in that direction.

Looking for InstaPay on the @metamask_io Mobile App?

Go to Settings➡Experimental➡Payment Channels and experience the magic!https://t.co/cZEUWQx2D8

— Connext (@ConnextNetwork) July 23, 2019

For one, MolochDAO member Aftab Hossain hailed the integration as a boon for the Dai stablecoin and a “[h]uge step forward for mass market UI of crypto payments solutions,” later arguing it “increases the likelihood of Ethereum being used for consumer […] payments at scale far sooner than it ever would for the Lightning Network.”

More probably unoriginal thoughts: this could also help usher in the use of micropayments for content on websites, since @ConnextNetwork has no fees.

This maybe be remembered as one of the most impactful moments in Ethereum UI/UX.

— Aftab 'DCinvestor' Hossain (@iamDCinvestor) July 23, 2019

Alas, Ethereum users now have the ability to make micropayments from within one of the space’s premier wallets for the first time. It may still take years for such second-layer solutions to catch on. But for those interested in making gasless payments now, InstaPay is a standout option.

A Rising Wallet on a Rising Network

The Ethereum network, which turned five years old on July 22nd, facilitated its 500 millionth transaction last week. Notably, the MetaMask web extension alone processed more 0.2 percent of those transactions during one month this spring.

“MetaMask recorded 1.1 million transactions in the month of April, which projects out to a whopping 1.51 million transactions last month across the entire user base,” the company revealed in a metrics breakdown back in May.

In that breakdown, the wallet makers estimated at the time they had approximately 90,000 weekly users and 264,000 monthly users and that the most popular dapps were 0x Universe, CryptoKitties, Dice 2 Win, Axie Infinity, and Fork Delta.

On Twitter, Mythos Capital founder Ryan Sean Adams projected the new MetaMask mobile apps will help the wallet play see further user growth in short order. “This’ll get them to 1m easy,” he said.

Metamask just released their mobile wallet beta

– Insta payments via channels (yep L2)
– Mobile access to DeFi protocols
– Simple onboarding

🔥🔥🔥

First time a crypto wallet felt mainstreamy

In April they had 260k monthly active users

This'll get them to 1m easy

— Ryan Sean Adams (@RyanSAdams) July 23, 2019

In the spring breakdown, MetaMask’s builders indicated they were committed to making wallet’s overall confirmation experience smoother, noting:

“On the product side, we’re taking some time to invest design effort into refreshing the Confirm screens to make them more functional. At the same time, we’re exploring a framework that will help the user extend permissions to different applications and reduce the need to confirm individual actions.”

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