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Home » We want to onboard one billion users in App design space to Web3 platform – Montoya

We want to onboard one billion users in App design space to Web3 platform – Montoya

MetaMask Snap is a system that allows Apps and programme developers to extend the functionality of MetaMask by creating new Web3 end-user experiences. It is a self-custody web3 platform that was recently launched to offer developers unprecedented control and customisation. Recently, Christian Montoya, a product lead for MetaMask had a virtual conversation with Amaka Anagor-Ewuzie, on the company’s plans for the Nigerian developers. He also talked about how the platform creates new opportunities for Nigerian App developers. Excerpts:

How do the MetaMask Snaps empower users to customise their web3 experience?

What MetaMask Snaps does is make it possible for App developers to add new functionality and make it easy to install those snaps on the MetaMask platform. The snaps are presented in a directory that is made available, where users can go and find the different snaps that are available and can also install these snaps through other directories or websites built by developers in the community.

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The reason for this is to give users a choice of features to access. This is total choice driven and it makes it simple for users to decide which features they want to add to MetaMask.

Could you share specific examples of how Snaps have improved user experiences within the MetaMask ecosystem?

We have doubled the number of blockchains that can have access to MetaMask because there are lots of interesting applications built on these other blockchains. So, giving users access to those things is a big deal. We have a whole category of snaps around transaction insights. So, what these snaps do is to show users information about a transaction before they confirm it. The information could be based on registries that keep track of malicious addresses or could actually simulate transactions for the users and tell the user what the outcome is going to be in advance or they can even use artificial intelligence (AI) to try to predict if the transaction may be risky. This is really valuable especially now that there are a lot of malicious scams and phishing attacks.

The unique thing about this is that users can install multiple providers and get multiple opinions about a transaction so they can get as much information as possible by doing this. There is another category which is notifications. What is really interesting about notifications is that we have enabled native web3 notifications and MetaMask.

So, for example, instead of a user having to share their email addresses or a social account in order to get notifications from a web3, they can now get those notifications directly in their wallets in a way that is more privacy-preserving, and more native to what the user would expect in web3.

Users can also get notifications from all the different channels they can subscribe to on Push Protocol or can use wallet chat and get notifications about actual encrypted privacy-preserving messaging through wallet chat in their wallet.

Can you provide insights into the diversity of Snap developers and highlight any standout contributions?

We have been working with App developers’ teams in different parts of Asia, Europe and South America. Part of what makes the developer community so diverse and global is that we have developed a platform with the intention of making it as low a barrier as possible.

Again we are not charging people to be Snap developers or to deploy Snaps. We have even set up a grant programme to help snap teams with the cost of building their snaps. We want to empower developers not just in the USA or in Europe, but developers around the world, because we believe that innovation is global, and activating developers around the world brings a lot of really interesting solutions to the table.

We have had a really great relationship working with Wallet Chat. They brought some really interesting and unique features to their Snap. We have been in communication with them since day one. They were actually part of our developer preview phase before the snap’s platform was launched recently.

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What role does MetaMask Snaps play in achieving the ambitious goal of onboarding 1 billion users to web3?

MetaMask is potentially the most important design space within Web3. The wallet is central to everything that we do in this ecosystem and how we access the internet of value. Making the wallet better, really has the potential to make the experience better for everyone and making the experience better means making it easier for 1 billion users to onboard Web3 and get involved in accessing decentralised finance or being able to manage their own funds through crypto.

Traditionally, in the past, if MetaMask wanted to work with an external developer EMS integration or hardware wallets, it was very cumbersome, but we have reduced those barriers and made it easier for a developer to add functionality to MetaMask without having to require our approval. This has really accelerated the pace of innovation.

We have given users a choice by creating a way for them to survey their favourites which has helped strengthen the quality of the wallet itself as the best features become really popular.

What is the diversity of Snap developers and the global reach of this initiative?

We have seen that developers in different regions have very much familiarity with the problems that they deal with, and that inspires them to want to build something. If developers are passionate about something, they are probably going to build the best solution.

The developers we discussed with actually were inspired to build this transaction insights solution, because one of them actually lost a lot of money personally, he lost money due to a phishing scam.

So, that inspired him to build an anti-phishing product. If we give these developers who are passionate about these problems the tools to build solutions, then they are going to build the best tools to solve those problems. The platform itself gives us a way to learn from those developers and to better understand the ways that crypto can help communities and their regions. So, it has really opened up this global conversation as we are able to engage with them on a regular basis and fully understand why they are so passionate about the different features that they are building.

How will the relationship between MetaMask and the wider Web3 community evolve in the coming years?

MetaMask really revolutionised Web3 years ago when it made it possible for anyone to build a website that could connect to the blockchain through MetaMask. This was what powered the initial wave of Daps. It is impossible for MetaMask to build everything that people are looking for right to make one product that does everything is very difficult. We have gotten a lot of feedback from developers that building the snap is much easier than if they had to build their own wallet or their own extension.

We have gotten a lot of good feedback from developers who have been building snaps with us and they are excited about the opportunity to reach MetaMask users with their solutions.

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What is the concept of ‘permissionless innovation’ within the Snaps ecosystem?

Permissionless innovation is a combination of what benefits developers and users. Developers are given access which makes it easier for them to build products with new functionality and to expand what MetaMask can do.

On the other end, we are making it possible for users to access those solutions in a much easier way. So, MetaMask Snap is an open platform that makes it easy for developers to build those features, but it is also the way that users can access those features. When they have access to those features it enables them to do more in Web3. Just like the blockchain itself is permissionless so is MetaMask.

We are making it possible for users to customise it however they want, to personalise it to their needs. This concept is like a two-way avenue between the developers and the users empowering them to be able to do this together without necessarily having to go through us as a gatekeeper.

Any example of how MetaMask has incorporated user feedback into the development of Snaps?

We have spent about two years working with developers just in MetaMask and we have worked with hundreds of developers along the way. One thing that we learned was to carry the developers along as we develop new things. For instance, if we have a new API or a new feature for the snap’s platform, we show it to developers and get feedback.

What is really cool about this approach is that as we prioritise getting feedback from developers, it really helped us refine the API, refine the platform and make it better. There are a lot of really interesting technical things we do under the hood to make sure the snaps run securely within MetaMask.

We have created lots of tools for developers that really empower them to build with snaps. So, not only do we provide the platform, but we provide all of these free tools that make it easy for developers to build their own snaps.

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How will this innovation help upcoming developers in Nigeria to thrive?

This is a new opportunity that Nigerian developers should definitely look at and consider building with. There is nothing else like it out there, the ability to build an application that can be installed into MetaMask and expand MetaMask features is something that I think is really exciting.

We would love to see more developers from Nigeria building on our platform, we love to connect with them, share ideas, and answer any questions they might have, and we would love to see more snaps eventually added to our MetaMask snaps directory from developers in Nigeria.

In the not-too-distant future, I would love to see 100 snaps developed specifically in Nigeria, I think that is achievable. I would love to see a team from Nigeria accomplish that. I think it’s doable. If you make a really useful snap that solves a problem for people. I think that that’s totally something that you could accomplish.


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