2023 has just come to an end, and it’s been over a full quarter since the Babylon upgrade to the Radix Network. That upgrade also brought the launch of Radix Wallet v1.0: an all-new wallet made possible by Babylon’s radical new network features. It’s been a fast and furious few months, and so it seemed worth doing a quick recap of what’s been going on with the Radix Wallet since then, as well as where it’s headed.
For those of you in the community wanting a bit more of a behind-the-scenes look at the Radix Wallet’s strategy and development, this is your post.
If you want to get straight to the exciting Radix Wallet roadmap from here, head over to the Wallets section of the Roadmap on Radix Docs.
And if you’re just looking for a wallet to use on Radix, the official Radix Wallet is always available at wallet.radixdlt.com, and the knowledge base has more information about wallet options for Radix.
First Release - Radix Wallet v1.0
The first release of the Radix Wallet at v1.0 was a true MVP, as any first release should be. Like any good MVP, it had to balance two important goals:
- It should focus on solving only the most crucial problems for the product’s very first users
- It should be built such that it can be expanded to achieve the long-term vision of the product’s full potential
All of the product research backing the design of the wallet’s architecture had defined that long-term vision for #2 – it’s the vision described at RadFi, all enabled by Radix’s full-stack platform advantages.
The focus of #1 was defined by these crucial essentials:
- Establish how the Radix Wallet connects to dApps, to enable dApps to launch confidently with direct wallet connection support. This included implementing the core interfaces for Persona-based logins, requests for Accounts and other data, and proposing transaction manifests.
- Demonstrate the core benefits of the transaction manifest, so that users can experience a better way than “sign this hash”. This included providing friendly summaries of the kinds of transactions used by the most common dApps, and the use of “guarantees” on deposits.
- Show users what they own, so that users can see more than the “ERC-XXXX” token black boxes they’re accustomed to. This included presentation of different native resource types, behavior configurations, and standardized metadata.
- Make sure users can migrate from the old Olympia wallet to the new Radix Wallet for Babylon. This meant ensuring support for Ledger hardware wallets, and a friendly way for most users to move over with minimal effort.
This is an enormous scope of new things for an MVP – but removing any one of these things would mean developers wouldn’t be able to confidently build and launch dApps integrated with the Radix Wallet, or that users wouldn’t be able to confidently take their first steps on Babylon.
Many trade-off decisions had to be made. Some truly important features didn’t make the cut because they weren’t as absolutely essential as the things above, and adding those features could still happen after v1.0. The result was still extremely complex, doing many things never done by any crypto wallet!
In the end, Radix Wallet v1.0 did the core things it needed to do for the majority of folks, and it laid the groundwork for an enormous amount of functionality to come. That isn’t to ignore those who experienced frustration, but addressing that was exactly the work to be attacked in the months following the big v1.0. Which brings us to…
The First 3 Months - v1.0 to v1.3
Launch is when theory meets the reality of real-world usage. So the first order of business was to listen to the community of users and developers and attack the things causing the greatest real confusion and difficulty. That meant both fixing bugs as well as prioritizing certain feature additions that would deliver the highest impact as quickly as possible. This was an incredibly intense time of tight loops between community feedback and focused work in the wallet team.
Multiple iOS and Android bug fix releases went out in just the few days following launch. (And many thanks for those in the community who provided detailed descriptions of issues that allowed the team to reproduce issues and turn around rapid fixes!)
At the same time, work started on a sequence of the most important quality-of-life feature additions, including:
- Account hiding went in to address the annoyance of having accounts that the user may not actually care about.
- Many optimizations to the “chattiness” and responsiveness of the wallets were made, steadily cutting out unnecessary gateway calls and in-app processing steps that could slow down interaction.
- A temporary “History” button was added to the Account view, allowing users to easily see recent transactions on the Radix Dashboard webpage while work continues on a very Radix-style in-app History view
- Recovering control of accounts using only a bare seed phrase or Ledger device just went in with v1.3, solving multiple pain points with a unified solution that will carry forward to multi-factor. Now users can initiate a “scan” for active Accounts using a seed phrase or Ledger device (either during onboarding or later). This means 1) a way to get control back even if you’ve lost your cloud or file backup, 2) an alternate way to import Olympia Accounts without using the old Olympia Desktop Wallet, and 3) a way to pull in previously-created Ledger hardware wallet Accounts directly. In the future with multi-factor support, this same “scanning” approach will still work, allowing identification of Accounts that have a given factor source as part of their configuration.
For more on these, take a look at the “Complete” section of the Wallet roadmap on the Radix Docs.
And while you’re there, let’s talk about what else you’ll find on the Wallet roadmap…
What’s Next for the Radix Wallet
What’s next? A whole lot! Now that the most crucial response releases are out, there can be more focus on the two thrusts that will generally constitute the wallet team’s work every day:
- Large scale “milestone” feature developments that build the wallet toward the long-term vision
- Smaller scale “backlog” features and quality of life improvements that continue to refine and incrementally improve the wallet experience
Providing a view on those areas of work is exactly the purpose of the Roadmap section of the Radix Docs, and specifically the “Wallets” section there.
You’ll find a “Milestones” page that talks about the big stuff. Next up is multi-factor implementation which of course is very exciting. It’s not just a single feature, but includes whole new UI sections to the wallet experience, including multi-factor configuration and application, initiating and confirming recovery of accounts. Following that, there are things like mobile-to-mobile dApp Support (enabling dApps to run directly in your phone’s browser), and more, that cumulatively will bring the Radix Wallet step by step toward being the true mainstream-ready Web3/DeFi enabler that it is destined to be.
You’ll also find an “Underway” page that lists the smaller additions that the team is actively working on in parallel at this moment. Those things you can expect to be released in next coming releases. Then under “Backlog” you’ll find a rundown of what the team will be pulling into “Underway”, with priorities informed by what will bring the greatest impact most quickly.
Check those pages often to see what’s coming, and what’s on the team’s radar for the future. If you think there’s something useful not listed there, by all means pipe up in Discord. If you’re a developer, a rundown of your dApp’s use case that needs wallet support will help figure out the best solution and get it on the roadmap.