The RDX Works team gets a lot of questions – from both users and developers – about wallets. Do we think that the current wallet is ready for mainstream users? Will there be a Radix mobile wallet? A web3 wallet? Would it be useful for a developer to consider building their own wallet for Olympia, or Babylon?
We’ve been putting quite a lot of thinking and research into our wallet roadmap since before the Olympia launch and we want to provide a glimpse at where we’re going that we think will help answer these questions.
The importance of the wallet in DeFi
A wallet for a DLT network is probably the most visible face for that network. It’s the first experience that most people have and, particularly in DeFi, its user experience is tightly linked with that of dApps. Just see Metamask’s role in the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem; not only is it how the majority of users interact with Ethereum, but it played a defining role in the rise of DeFi there by making direct linking to webapps practical and easy. A DeFi-focused wallet is crucial.
In fact, not only do we believe that a DeFi wallet is a requirement for Radix – we think there is an enormous opportunity here for Radix. For all of Metamask’s success in making DeFi of today possible, the experience of using it is very far from mainstream-ready in many ways. Put bluntly, without a substantial rethink of the usability of DeFi (including wallets), DeFi will remain a niche because “consumers value ease of use and convenience over privacy or self-sovereignty”.
Learning from what Metamask has done well – and taking maximum advantage of Radix’s unique platform advantages – we think we can do better and deliver a wallet that is a crucial part of our roadmap to create the L-1 platform where mainstream DeFi is finally possible.
Wallet goals for RDX Works
Why is the current Radix Desktop Wallet so basic then? Where’s the mobile app and Metamask-style web integration? The answer is that the current wallet has a very specific goal on our roadmap: holding, sending, and staking tokens on the Olympia network. As we described in a post about our roadmap, the current wallet is a workmanlike solution for those simple purposes on this first iteration of the network. It is, in a word, temporary – because the Olympia release of the network isn’t yet DeFi-capable.
The future isn’t in incremental improvements to the Olympia wallet; it’s in a new, blank-sheet wallet design specifically for DeFi/web3 and specifically for the capabilities of the Radix network at Babylon. And that new design must include both desktop and mobile.
Design work on this next wallet began before the release of Olympia. Our goal is to not only provide an anchor DeFi/web3 wallet solution at Babylon launch, but also to take full advantage of unique technical capabilities of the Babylon network to provide a better wallet experience for both users and builders of dApps.
To accomplish this, the wallet development must be tightly integrated with the ongoing development of Radix Engine v2, Scrypto, the new transaction model, and more. We are discovering that this tight co-design of network and wallet really gives us some exciting possibilities to do things with a wallet that no other network can.
But this tight co-design also means that it’s very difficult for us to discuss the wallet publicly because it is so quickly shifting and evolving – and will continue to do so until soon before the Babylon release. We also think that some of the new possibilities we’re discovering are so exciting that we very much want to avoid tipping our hand to other platforms prematurely. This means that, as excited as we are about the work here, you shouldn’t expect that we will be talking much about it in the near future.
However, there are some things we can say now.
Key points about the Babylon wallet
If you’re a developer, there are a couple of things we want you to know.
First, clearly a DeFi-capable wallet is part of the anatomy of a dApp on Radix at Babylon, and Scrypto developers need information about how a Babylon wallet will fit between web3 front-ends and Scrypto components.
We don’t, however, need to wait until the release of the wallet to meet this need – we just need to provide the interfaces. So there are a couple of things we plan to do for dApp developers in the near future:
- In February, we will release the real transaction model that will be a webapp’s way of submitting a transaction to the wallet for signature and submission on Babylon.
- As soon as we can do so with confidence, we will be releasing information about the intended wallet API interface and network API interface (for querying ledger data) for web front-end developers.
Second, if you have an interest in wallet development – we want to make sure that we don’t blindside you.
Wallet-relevant interfaces may change dramatically at Babylon so there is risk in building wallet integrations to today’s Olympia-based API. This is something we’re communicating to potential third-party multi-wallets that wish to integrate XRD.
We also want to be clear about our intention to provide the great DeFi desktop/mobile wallet solution that we mentioned above as our top priority - and to do that, it has to be built around network capabilities that may not be fully documented until shortly before release. This means that – to be fully open with our developer community – we don’t expect there to be an urgent need or significant opportunity for community wallets right at Babylon’s release.
However, we still understand the desire and benefit of having other wallet options after Babylon’s release, so rest assured that we have three rules for the wallet we are developing:
- The wallet will be fully open sourced at its release.
- The wallet’s core capabilities will be built around network-native features that, by their nature, will be available to any developer on Babylon.
- Wherever the wallet includes off-network features or integrations, it will use standards that will be open and available for any developer to use and integrate with.
In short, we want the wallet we develop to be a contribution to the community – allowing developers of dApps to rely on the existence of a trustworthy and user-focused wallet solution, and providing an open technical reference for other integrations.
If you’re a current Radix user, we hear your desires for a wallet that matches Radix aspirations – and that is exactly what we’re working on now. The Olympia wallet was always intended to be a temporary solution specifically for Olympia’s simple feature set. We are confident we will provide a great multi-platform DeFi wallet at Babylon launch, and a roadmap of continuing enhancements to this new wallet over time. We can’t wait to show it to you closer to its release.