Most major self-custody crypto wallets operate through browser extensions, which makes integration with decentralized apps (dapps) as easy as approving a pop up; this pattern has become commonplace in the ecosystem. In most cases, you need an in-browser crypto wallet to interact with dapps, as many sites don’t host a wallet to hold customers' funds. The largest of these wallets is MetaMask, which recently hit 10M monthly active users, an 1800% increase over the past year. MetaMask is compatible with most Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible tokens, but its biggest drawback is that it is not compatible with many other Layer 1 cryptocurrencies, like Solana. Most of those coins have their own wallets, like Solana’s Phantom, which touts 1M monthly active users.
This past week, Coinbase launched their own web wallet extension to compete with MetaMask, bringing much of the convenience of using Coinbase natively to the web3 browser experience. This is a non-custodial wallet that you can use to interact with the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, a sector into which the company has seen limited expansion due to regulators. This means Coinbase’s 56M users now have a streamlined way to buy thousands of cryptocurrencies, trade on decentralized exchanges (DEXs), use dapps, earn interest, and collect non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – all this in lieu of being locked into a centralized exchange to merely buy and sell.
Coinbase’s wallet also has native integration with a few major wallets, including MetaMask, so users can simply import their wallet and make the swap.