Pianity, the project known for its music NFT platform, showed us that it never forgot its roots: Arweave. They are working on something that has the potential to be integrated into every other Arweave native project.
If you are even remotely active in Web3, there is a considerable chance that you have at least one of the 30 million MetaMask wallets. Until now MetaMask was a wallet dedicated to EVM chains. People are using it to interact with mainnets (and testnets too) like Ethereum, BSC, Polygon, and many others. As of now, non-EVM chains like Arweave were out of reach. This will change after the official release of MetaMask Snaps:
[…] a system that allows expanding the wallet’s capabilities through extensions. Currently, they are available only on MetaMask Flask. A “snap” is a program that runs in an isolated environment that can customize the wallet experience. For example, a snap can add new APIs to MetaMask, add support for different blockchain protocols, or modify existing functionality using internal APIs. Snaps is a new way to create Web3 end-user experiences, by modifying MetaMask in ways that were impossible before.
Unfortunately Snaps are in the pre-release stage and the builds that are currently created can’t be integrated with your already existing wallet. As the developers from Pianity already highlighted in the quote above, they can be tested only on MetaMask Flask (a testing environment). So, should we wait until MetaMask officially releases this feature? Well, yes and no. Let me explain:
The ArSnap project provides a standalone wallet built with the Snap technology embedded in it. Think of it as a fork of Metamask that is compatible with Arweave. On top of that, they are offering two other packages for Arweave dApps developers: Adapter and Compat. With Adapter you can integrate the ArSnap wallet in your project, and with Compat you can “upgrade” the already existing ArConnect integration to support Snaps too. For more details, you can check their announcement.
While for the time being you still can not use MetaMask to interact with Arweave, if Arweave’s projects are integrating with ArSnap, they will eventually fully integrate with MetaMask. This would happen when ConsenSys will decide to make Snaps public, without any supplementary work on their part.
Imagine the moment when all the projects that are currently being built on Arweave will be finished – offering support for potentially the most used web extension wallet. Don’t get me wrong, ArConnect and all other wallets out there are as good as they can get. However, talking from a user perspective, the comfort of habit represents a lot in terms of trying new technologies.
Let’s not fool ourselves. In the case of Arweave, conscious adoption is still bound to happen. There are probably many more users interacting with Arweave without knowing it via NFTs than there are unique Arweave wallets. Most Web3 users have only a vague idea of what Arweave is. Try to put yourself in their shoes: you don’t know much about that new ecosystem; you’re fine and dandy in your EVM universe. Will you give it a try if it means only accepting some new settings on your wallet? Maybe. Will you start a fresh new wallet with a different UI? Maybe another day. Hell, to this day, I’m not present on Solana or Tezos or Cardano because I’m too lazy to set a new wallet for them. On the other hand, my MetaMask is connected to all the EVM compatible chains. I suppose that I’m by no means a particular case.
Making the UX as familiar as possible for Web3 users should be one of the main concerns of any Arweave project. ArSnap leaps in that direction.