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Coinbase Unveils Smart Wallet to Simplify DeFi Access

With the launch of the Smart Wallet, Coinbase aims to set a new standard for DeFi accessibility and user experience, paving the way for mass adoption of blockchain technology.


With the launch of the Smart Wallet, Coinbase aims to set a new standard for DeFi accessibility and user experience, paving the way for mass adoption of blockchain technology.
Credit: Foretoken Media 2024

SAN FRANCISCO – Top U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase today unveiled its promised Smart Wallet, designed to reduce hurdles for new users looking to get started in the DeFi space. “Smart Wallets allow users to create a free, secure, self-custody wallet in just a few seconds,” wrote Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu, senior director of product management at Coinbase, in a blog post announcing the release.

“They simplify onboarding, reduce the number of transactions to be signed, and seamlessly let you use your Coinbase balances.”

Coinbase first announced its Smart Wallet at ETHDenver in February. Instead of traditional recovery phrases, apps, and extensions typically used to access DeFi apps and services, Smart Wallets utilize industry-standard Passkeys and a companion web portal connecting to the Base, Ethereum, Optimism, Arbitrum, Polygon, Avalanche, BNB, and Zora networks as of launch.


Simplifying the DeFi User Experience


Coinbase’s new wallets aim to address challenges to the typical DeFi user experience, especially for those just getting started. “Until now, going onchain has been slow, expensive, and hard, with separate wallet app installs and first-generation blockchains,” Coelho-Prabhu wrote. With Coinbase Smart Wallet, users can create a new wallet using Face ID, a Google Chrome profile, Yubikey, fingerprint unlock feature, or FaceID.


Solving Wallet Fragmentation


Smart Wallets also attempt to correct the fragmentation that occurs when users must manage balances across multiple wallets to fully engage with a range of crypto apps. Users will be able to draw from Coinbase account balances or from their self-custodial wallet balance to facilitate transactions almost anywhere.


Coinbase is encouraging crypto developers to integrate its Smart Wallet into their apps, offering up to $15,000 in gas credits through a Base Gasless Campaign and other On-Chain Summer contests and incentives. “Integrating smart wallets is straightforward and only requires at most a few lines of code,” Coelho-Prabhu wrote, noting that the system is live and already supported by popular crypto code libraries.


Enabling Gasless Transactions


Another notable feature of Smart Wallets is the possibility of gasless transactions through “paymaster” sponsorships, in which developers or other parties can cover user gas fees to provide a product or service for free. This feature aligns with Coinbase’s broader vision of a world where everyone is using crypto.


“Smart wallets are a revolutionary step forward in our mission to bring more than 1 billion users onchain,” Coelho-Prabhu explained. The Smart Wallet launch kicks off Coinbase’s annual “On-Chain Summer” rewards campaign.


Beginning in March, along with the Dencun hard fork and the implementation of “proto danksharding,” the company’s Base layer-2 scaling network for Ethereum has experienced surging total value locked. It has also emerged as the most profitable L2 network, with over $6 million in on-chain profits last month.


Despite the promising features, Coinbase has faced issues with scaling as Base has grown in popularity in recent months, including multiple instances of transactions failing amid ongoing tension with the SEC.

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