Dear Crypto Wallet, Did I Get Paid?
I’m by no means good at crypto or can talk about the depth and breadth of the blockchain. Sometimes, when someone brings up SushiSwap, I think about sharing Sashimi and rolls, rather than the DeFi trading platform. But, it’s going to be a big part of the future, and I’ve started to get ahead of the curve by accepting crypto as payment and making that process as easy as accepting fiat. Yeah, the blockchain can be complicated, but I like the feeling of having the digital money in hand and the freedom of being able to do different things with it; trade it, stake it, sell it. That’s what made me decide to go all in. But, for me, my needs are a little more specific than just picking a crypto wallet. While it’s the key to the kingdom of blockchains, dApps, and DAOs, I want it to help me be more productive.
If I knew more about digital wallets, I’m sure I’d be more concerned with tokens, liquidity pools, and so on, but I’m just more concerned with maximizing the crypto I do get. I’m a writer who’s getting paid in crypto. My priorities right now are: getting paid, investing some, but off-ramping it to pay rent. For those reasons, I chose MetaMask and am currently using it. It’s the most popular, it’s the work standard, and it’s used by over 10 million people. I love it. I’m getting money from here and moving it over there, and that’s good enough for me right now.
I wanted something simple to set up and easy to use, that worked across chains. Obviously, it had to be non-custodial; I’m not going to be moving around a lot of currency, and I want to understand every nuance of how Web3 exchanges and networks work. And I wanted something that offered the flexibility to buy and trade digital coins and stablecoins, without too many complications. The easier the better. This is the primary way of connecting to the blockchain Nailing this means I start off on the right foot.
Of course, I downloaded the mobile app wallet and the Chrome extension. But, in digging deeper, I find something thing missing, and I can’t find it in any wallet - Push notifications.
Metamask is happy to alert me to a transaction, but a deposit? That’s a feature that’s nowhere to be found. I want to get some sort of heads up that when I get the money, I’m notified. I don’t want to have to actively check.
Every other app extension I’ve downloaded on Chrome sends a message for pretty much any activity. But not this one. This is a huge annoyance. This is something that Web2 has gotten down cold. Why can’t Web3 do it?
A Computer-First Person
Let me tell you about an average day for me. I’m writing for a company that’s operating in both spaces; Web2 and Web3, and I’m also dabbling in digital currencies on my own. So I’m trading on a network, maybe I’m on Ethereum, Harmony, whatever, or a non-EVM chain like NEAR, and I’m holding assets and I’m paying and getting paid on this Web3 chain. I’m not talking about a lot of cryptocurrencies, but enough that it matters where it’s stored and that I know what I have where, and when it’s deposited.
There’s no debating that Web3 is the next evolution of the web with decentralization giving power back to the users. But a lot of my life is still on Web2.
What I want to do is go about my normal workday, laptop in hand, and have my wallet extension interact with me. I don’t really want to have to do this on my phone, constantly checking my crypto wallet app. It ruins the flow of my writing. I mean, yes, I don’t need it, but it would help immensely. Plus, I don’t always have Telegram open, I’m not a big fan of Discord, and my Slack is usually muted. So those kinds of notifications are out.
Connecting the Two Webs
Someone needs to build an extension that is capable of listening to an event on the blockchain, specifically a deposit, and telling me it happened. But obviously, it needs to be something that keeps the principles behind Web3 in mind but integrates with my Web2 tools.
I’m not a developer. I haven’t the first clue how to solve this. I know that there are problems that need to be worked out between Webs 2 and 3, regarding access to the blockchain, maintaining the anonymity of wallet addresses, the protection and security of personal information, and ensuring that Web3 tools stay as decentralized as possible. Any sort of hard link between the two defeats the purpose and compromises what Web3 stands for. The blockchain is private, secure, and democratic, and that doesn’t jive with where Web2 is.
Plus, the general consensus says the tool that I’m asking for is complex, requiring a developer to build each notification individually per chain. Given the multitude of chains out there, that is a lot of connectors that have to be built.
Wallets today are just a conduit, a portal to the wonderful world of dApps and Cryptocurrency. Smart Contracts and Slack can’t hang out; I get that. But I have a gut feeling that I’m not the only one who wants this, and I’m sure someone out there has some sort of middleware in mind that will bridge the gap, it’s just a matter of time.
As I said before, I’m straddling the line between both Webs 2&3, and I think the first organization that finds a way to help me live in both, will get the keys to normalizing on-chain transactions and demystifying Web3 for everyone not living on the blockchain.
For now, though, I’m going to check my wallet obsessively until that solution presents itself.