New Coinbase Wallet In-App Web3 Browser Revolutionizes MPC Tech

The development is a technological achievement and offers more security while navigating some of the very best products in the industry.

MPC Tech Revolutionizing Web3 Access

After Coinbase ensured on-chain access via its App this week, Web3Wire takes a closer look at why this could be a game-changing prospect for the crypto sphere. 

While Coinbase already allows users to explore Web3 through its product Coinbase Wallet, addressing that adage of ‘not your keys, not your crypto,’ plenty of users operate solely on the exchange with an inability to do much other than buy, sell or hold. And while the team at Coinbase prides itself on how secure user funds are on the exchange, there was always a recognition of the inflexibility of the product. Pete Kim, one of the builders of USDC, expanded on these ideas via a Twitter thread on May

Kim recognized the fact that to gain access to Web3, users would have to adopt a hot wallet, but the team was not prepared to put funds at risk in the process. So, in response to this, the team sets about constructing a system that manages to protect funds even if the relevant hot wallet were to be hacked. The team was attempting to build the best of both worlds, which had the benefits of both self-custody wallets and Coinbase exchange secured wallets.

The eventual solution was a ‘semi-custodial’ wallet system. What this does is split key material between the user’s device and Coinbase, with both being necessary to utilize the wallet. Thus, even if one is hacked, the overall sum of funds would still be protected. The risk here, of course, is that the user can lose their device, but this can be addressed by backup options such as cold storage systems, which would also hold part of the material and be unable to transact alone. 


Role of MPC Tech

The team set about exploring the different ways they could get their new system going. While a smart contract was considered, the team quickly moved away from that as they were reluctant to tie themselves to a specific blockchain and the inherent overhead gas fees. 

The eventual solution the team settled on was an MPC, otherwise understood as multiparty computation. This is a cryptographic protocol that distributes computation across multiple parties where no individual party can see the other parties’ data. As a result, transactions must be signed off collaboratively without allowing anyone to access the full key.

The team refers to their MPC-powered wallets as dApp wallets which can support the array of products that regular self-custody wallets can. This means access to other products outside of simply buying, selling, and holding. 

Kim has already outlined that the team is working hard on enhancing its products in line with this newly developed tech. The hope is that this will improve accessibility and help onboard the next wave of Web3 users.

What is Coinbase:

Coinbase is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The exchange was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Eshram back in 2012. While Armstrong remains at the helm of the exchange as the CEO, Eshram left the company in 2017 but still owns 6% of the equity and serves on the board of directors. Coinbase (COIN) became the first cryptocurrency firm and exchange to trade on Nasdaq starting on April 14, 2021. The stock has even briefly surpassed a market capitalization of $100 billion, although its market cap is just over $15 billion at the time of writing.

Find more about Coinbase here:

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