Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange service Coinbase Inc. announced Thursday that the company is making it easier for users to access distributed ledger blockchain applications, or dapps, from web browsers with WalletLink.
To operate, dapps use cryptocurrency tokens in order to execute decentralized transactions on a blockchain. Coinbase Wallet acts as a secure storage for these tokens so that they can be accessed from desktop or mobile.
With WalletLink, it is possible to access tokens in the Coinbase Wallet by simply scanning a WalletLink quick response, or QR, code.
Initially, Wallet was sufficient to allow users to access dapps through mobile devices, but with WalletLink that capability has been expanded to desktop browsers.
WalletLink has been tested with the web browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave and Opera. Coinbase says that it plans to roll out support for native mobile apps as well, and more currencies, in the future.
As part of this announcement, a number of dapps have already pledged support for WalletLink including Compound, an on-chain borrowing and lending platform; dYdX, another platform for lending that also does margin trading; IDEX, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange; and Maker, a stablecoin (a currency that minimises value volatility) and decentralized reserve bank.
WalletLink support is also coming soon to Uniswap, a beta protocol for automated token exchange using the Ethereum blockchain.
Although most of the dapps listed with WalletLink support are finance or cryptocurrency related, the dapp ecosystem is much more variant. For example, the popular game CryptoKitties is a decentralized app that permits users to collect, breed and trade digital kitties.
A service like WalletLink could open up a lot of opportunities for blockchain-based games, such as “Spells of Genesis” by EverdreamSoft SA and “Gods Unchained” by Fuel Games, which is also backed by Coinbase.
To try out WalletLink, users will need to update to the latest version of Coinbase Wallet (version 19.1 on iOS and 18.0 on Android). Then it becomes possible to visit any dapp supported by WalletLink and get the QR code to connect Coinbase Wallet. Once the user approves access for the dapp with Wallet it will be ready to go and transactions may commence.
To woo developers, Coinbase has also released WalletLink open source making it much more accessible and easy to create support within dapps. Another blog post with technical details is planned for publication in the near future to explain how to build support and explain the company’s decision.
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