Coinbase launches wallet API to help Web 2.0 developers integrate into the web3 world

Coinbase, the second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has launched a new product to help onboard developers to web3, the company shared with CoinTech on Wednesday.

It should be easier to go to a website or engage with a brand without having to leave their platform, Will Robinson, VP of engineering at Coinbase, told CoinTech. “We should allow people to jump right into web3 so they can really control their assets in an embedded experience.”

Coinbase’s wallet as a service (WaaS) is a scalable set of wallet infrastructure APIs that enable businesses to create and deploy customizable on-chain wallets for their users. This means companies can integrate wallets directly into their apps, so users aren’t redirected to separate applications to connect their wallets (as most web3 dApps require these days).

“The current onboarding flow is a bit backwards for most everyday people,” Robinson said. “In the beginning you need a crypto asset for some reason, then you should buy a wallet because someone told you to, and then you need to find something related to that wallet.”

Still, that flow is something that “people fall out of very often,” Robinson added. “But if you reverse that, people really want to use an application and connect with a brand. That is the desire they start with.”

The API-oriented product was built by the same team that created Coinbase’s wallet infrastructure for the rest of its company, Robinson said.

The WaaS allows users to access web3 wallets through Web 2.0 technology such as usernames and passwords, as opposed to seed phrases (a string of random words required to access a wallet). It also has multi-party computing capabilities, keeping users’ assets safe by distributing information across multiple parties and key ownership, giving users complete control over their assets.

“We built this product to be tough enough and suitable to even drive our own institutional retail business,” Robinson said. “And with this exposure as an API, a mainstream developer who may not have any knowledge of crypto, but is a web2 application developer [will be able] to integrate this capability into their app and let users onboard right where they are.”

Companies like Floor, Moonray, Thirdweb, and Tokenproof are currently implementing Coinbase’s WaaS to give users access to web3 experiences ranging from NFT marketplaces to token-based experiences.

“Ultimately, we think this is something that can integrate the next tens to hundreds of millions of users into web3,” Robinson said.

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