Tuesday, October 27, 2020

MetaMask Gets Into the Decentralized Exchange Aggregation Business With Token Swaps

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MetaMask announced a new feature Tuesday: token swaps directly within the popular Ethereum browser extension and mobile application.

MetaMask, a project that is a part of the Ethereum software company ConsenSys‘s portfolio, is probably the most popular way for users to access the Ethereum blockchain. It functions much like a Bitcoin wallet, while also enabling users to sign in to decentralized applications and use them through a regular browser. 

The token-swapping feature will release first on its Firefox browser extension, before adding extensions for other browsers and MetaMask mobile.  

Jacob Cantele, product lead at MetaMask, wrote in a press release, “We believe bringing greater transparency and efficiency to DeFi on Ethereum will result in a better network experience for all.”

Up to now, to make a swap of tokens, an Ethereum user would need to go to the website of a specific decentralized exchange or exchange aggregator, sign in and run the swap. By building a token-swapping function into MetaMask itself, it should improve the user experience by automatically routing users to a service, cutting out a step. 

MetaMask will seek the best exchange rate for any given trade, accessing all the best known places to conduct an exchange. The announcement lists services such as Uniswap, Kyber, Paraswap 1inch.exchange and dex.ag. 

It should be noted that this service really isn’t any different than what existing decentralized exchange aggregators (like 1inch or Paraswap) purport to do, but MetaMask has a big advantage. Odds are, most users of those aggregators already used MetaMask to access them, so if the same users can do the same thing directly in MetaMask, many likely will. 

This new service is the latest step in monetizing MetaMask. “There are dynamic fees that range from 0.3% to 0.875% based on order size,” James Beck, a ConsenSys spokesperson, told CoinDesk in an email. 

In late 2019, MetaMask began monetizing by charging a small fee on fiat to Ethereum exchanges facilitated over the application, according to Beck.