If you’re into crypto and NFTs, then you probably need no introduction to MetaMask, the major Ethereum browser extension and wallet service. Created by parent company ConsenSys in 2016, MetaMask is the most popular non-custodial wallet, opening the door to NFTs, DApps and basically everything on the Ethereum blockchain.
We met with Matthieu Bouchaud, Senior Product Manager at ConsenSys during the Blockchain Week in Paris to talk about the latest trends in Web3. Matthieu revealed insider insights on MetaMask’s Apple Pay integration, what MetaMask is doing to drive privacy and security, and whether the rumors of a MetaMask DAO could become reality.
MetaMask has 30 million active users right now. You are a cross-section of the crypto-verse. According to your data, what are people using MetaMask for the most?
Adoption is really different depending on the country and the region you are in. In Asia, for example, you have paid Play-to-Earn gaming that is gaining a lot of traction. So NFTs for that specific use case is booming there. In Europe, it’s more about decentralized finance and financial applications. Of course, NFTs have exploded globally. But I think it’s interesting for people to understand that there is this split between different regions of the world.
Which marketplaces does MetaMask support? For example, OpenSea, LooksRare, or The Secret Network?
The good thing about MetaMask is that any developer can easily integrate MetaMask to their application. So, the MetaMask integration is everywhere. We have unrivaled access to all the Web3 applications thanks to that very easy integration feature. We are on OpenSea, of course. We are on many different NFT platforms. We are on our own NFT platform, ConsenSys NFT, where there will be a very interesting integration between the NFT experience and the MetaMask experience.
Right now, MetaMask is only available on the Ethereum blockchain. Is Solana coming in the future?
MetaMask was the first wallet for the Ethereum ecosystem and it is still the most used in that space. We’ve seen the growth of many Ethereum-based chains, like Polygon. So, it’s actually quite massive.
For blockchains that don’t support the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine), we have plans to let developers of protocols add some features into MetaMask themselves in order to increase support. We want to make it very, very open for developers to add different chains as they choose.
So that means in the future I will be able to buy Solana NFTs using MetaMask.
It could be a possibility, yes.
Can you talk about the biggest trends in Web3 and how MetaMask fits into that?
Every year there is a new trend. In 2017, it was all about ICOs, there was a lot of traction there. Then, there were STOs, stable coins. Then, there were NFTs. I think last year was really really the year of the NFT.
We’ve seen tremendous growth in that space and it’s interesting to imagine what will be the trend this year. We see the explosion of DAOs, we see a lot of interesting governance of decentralized protocols that are being built. So NFTs will continue. I think we are at the phase where NFT builders will actually release their applications next year. So DAOs are a very interesting topic for us as well.
MetaMask’s Apple Pay integration came out a couple of weeks ago. Can you talk about the value for users and what it means for the crypto landscape?
In order to access Web3 applications, you need Ether, or you need at least some cryptocurrencies to pay for the transactions. The main friction for users is to move their funds from the Fiat world to the Web3 world. The Apple Pay integration has demonstrated the best UX in the market and will considerably accelerate the amount of Fiat that is moved to Web3. We want to be a key player in that on-ramp experience from Fiat to crypto.
MetaMask got $ 7 billion in Series D funding. How do you plan on spending it?
The first thing it means is hiring. We are hiring a lot. We want to hire talent all over the world to accelerate the development of our core products like MetaMask and build additional features that users need. We will accelerate the hiring quite a lot this year. We are 700 people globally today, we want to be more than 1.000 at the end of the year. It’s massive growth, so developers should contact us.
What is MetaMask doing to tackle privacy and security?
I think there are multiple aspects. There is the technical aspect and there is the user experience aspect. MetaMask has invested a lot in creating content to educate users on what it means to be actually self-custodial, to be in control of your own funds. It’s a benefit but you have responsibilities. You have to follow certain rules to protect yourself from phishing and attacks. Education is really key.
On the UX side of things, we are making the application very user-friendly, making the right levels of alerts when you are trying to do an operation that could be a risk. So, we are leveraging UX to help the user stay safe.
On the technical side, we are continuing to explore privacy-preserving technologies that ConsenSys has led for multiple years. When this work comes to finish, you can expect to see very interesting synergies between wallets and privacy techniques.
Bonus question. There are rumors that MetaMask is launching its own token and maybe even a DAO. Is that true and when might that be happening?
Consensys has been here for a long time and has been a true advertiser of the purpose and the importance of decentralization. It’s a root in our culture. We are exploring how DAOs are formed and how we can let the community have a positive impact on product development and enable them to shape future development.
What’s very interesting with DAOs is that they give control back to the users and let them decide which direction the product should go in. That creates a lot of stickiness and that’s pretty interesting. So we are definitely exploring these areas. There is nothing that we can confirm yet because we want the best way possible.