Are multichain exchanges seamless?
What infrastructure can propel the DeFi space into its own per liquidity flows?
These questions prompted ShapeShift DAO to deploy the Multichain MetaMask Snap across several blockchains.
Pedro Gomes, Multichain MetaMask Snap explains.
Pedro Gomes, Software Engineer at ShapeShift DAO
What is the rationale behind the creation of the multichain snap?
To bring the “actual” multi-chain experience to the 21M MM MAU. Multi-chain in MM (without snaps) refers to multiple EVM chains. With the ShapeShift multichain snap, you can now hold *native* assets across Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Cosmos… not their wrapped version. You can also trade to/from these assets thanks to the ShapeShift Thorchain integration, in addition to the routes ShapeShift already provides for EVM chains when connecting regular MM. You can even swap ETH <-> BTC, all by connecting MM and installing the snap!
Why did you choose MetaMask?
MM is the de-facto wallet for most Ethereum/EVM chain users and is the first that brought developers abilities to develop new capabilities for a wallet.
How many native tokens can MetaMask users buy with the ShapeShift Snap?
Users can buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash and ATOM, in addition to the native EVM assets we already support (Ethereum’s ETH, Avalanche’s AVAX, Gnosis’ XDAI, BSC’s BNB, Optimism’s ETH and Polygon’s MATIC.
Why focus on these tokens?
UTXOs are loved by OG’s, and ShapeShift vision has always been multi-chain from the centralized days, not EVM only but bringing first-class experience for UTXOs as well. Cosmos is the entry point to the IBC for many, and can also be staked natively and in THORChain savers.
How will the emergence of multichain bridges change Web 3.0 ecosystems?
The space is very fragmented, and MM as a de-facto hot wallet for many means the focus is exclusively on EVM chains. Being able to use different native chains, EVM, UTXOs, and IBC chains all in one app, with the integration of various DEXes and protocols to swap across those chains and stake your *native* assets is a step towards a truly multi-chain vision, where users don’t have to think of the technical underlyings of x or y chain and don’t need multiple wallets for their cross-chain experience!
How does the Snap’s status as a community-owned organizational tool affect its development?
ShapeShift strives to offer the simple and usually better (i.e swap rates) experience of a CEX, without sacrificing custody of your assets. With our choice of integrations (e.g THORChain swaps), being able to access many chains in one app, and now being able to do so with MM through the multichain snap, users won’t have to chose between the easiness of CEXs and giving up control of their keys. You can get someone started on using ShapeShift as their one stop shop into crypto, where they will be able to buy (through our integrated fiat ramp), swap (through our integrated DEXes), stake, and hold assets in an easy manner.
How has ShapeShift’s self-custody focus improved digital asset adoption?
At its core, the MetaMask snap is deriving accounts for the chains mentioned above, using MetaMask secure entropy mechanism. We then leverage our existing ShapeShift wallet functionality to make you able to do everything you’d do with ShapeShift wallet, through snaps. We never have access to your seed, and would never have access to it in any circumstance given the secure sandbox of MetaMask snaps. The security is the same as regular MM: connect for us to be able to get your account addresses, and explicitly sign Txs through the MM snap popup.
How does the ShapeShift Snap interact with the MetaMask wallet?
We leverage the existing native wallet functionality and are bound to MetaMask snap engine security limitations.
What precautions have you taken to ensure asset safety?
Developers are free to use the snap as it’s open-source. Pastaghost is currently documenting the API for it, but the high-level idea is as soon as you can pass the right payloads to it, you can derive accounts/addresses and request messages signing through the snap in your app.
How can developers create APIs and other personalization features via the Snap?
Don’t trust, verify. By making the snap, all ShapeShift front-end and libraries as well as the snap engine itself open-source, we guarantee users that what they use can be verified. You don’t need to trust us, you only need to trust the code. In a fully self-custodial world, such transparency is what matters. We as a DAO believe this is the way to adoption, and our decision-making process is also community-led, which ensures the community gets the product they want.
How do open-source technologies encourage adoption?
All our code is open-source. When building for self-custody, open-source is a sine qua non condition.
Are there any plans to govern the development process?
Christian Montoya from Consensys has always been quick to reply to any of our technical questions and ensure that the code we deliver not only matches the code quality standards we always have but also conforms to the MetaMask snaps specifications and offers the most features, in the least amount of permissions needed, with security and performance always as first principles.
How has the Snap changed the DeFi space?
The snap has managed to make multiple communities curious to try the multi-chain experience through MM: MetaMask users, of course, but also the THORChain community, which have in common the fact they always had to juggle through multiple wallets when dealing with multiple chains. ShapeShift already solved this with the ShapeShift native wallet, but there was a discoverability issue: to know you can use the ShapeShift app and wallet to interact with multiple chains, you had to go to ShapeShift and create/import a wallet. The process is now reverse: you already have a MetaMask wallet, and are able to augment it to multi-chain capabilities in a few clicks and less than 30s. This is a game-changer for the DeFi space, where DeFi degens instantly have access to multiple chains, but newcomers which installed MetaMask as the “de-facto crypto wallet” can now have a real multi-chain experience without the technical knowledge of the underlyings of different chain types/wallets.
Does the team at ShapeShift have any other products in the pipeline?
Are there any plans to add other native chains in the near term?