ShapeShift wallet – Job to be done?

As a crypto enthusiast and a former management consultant looking for new ways to ‘unmanage management’ I have been following the transformation of ShapeShift central towards a fully Decentralized Autonomous Organization with great interest.

The progression during the last months has been amazing and it’s great to see all these new initiatives come to fruition. ShapeShift DAO is really firing on all decentralized cylinders!

As a user of the ShapeShift wallet I still have some questions though. What exactly is the ‘Job to be done’ of the wallet for it’s users, and how will we see that reflected in the ShapeShift development roadmap? Currently I use the ShapeShift wallet to store some crypto assets and to participate in the Liquidity pool. But that’s about it at the moment. The Ethereum gas fees are too high for decentralized trading and for payments there are faster / cheaper options.

So therefore I am wandering what (potential) needs the wallet should fulfill for it’s users, and what could to be done in order to fulfill those needs. A clear understanding of these needs provides some guidance for the development priorities going forward. So here are my 2 cents. I am curious to hear what other peoples thoughts are regarding the wallet’s Job to be done.

  1. Exchange FIAT currencies into crypto assets and vice versa (on ramp / off ramp). Status: already possible, but off ramp possibilities are limited to some regions.
  2. Store crypto assets in a secure and decentralized manner. Status: already possible, but mostly ERC20 assets.
  3. Trade crypto assets in a cheap, fast & easy way. Status: possible but mostly ERC20 assets and high fees.
  4. Invest crypto assets (staking, lending, liquidity pools). Status: WETH – Fox Liquidity pool & Fox farming available in the current wallet. Other earning possibilities like Tokemak and Elk Finance have recently been made available, but are not (yet) integrated in the ShapeShift wallet.
  5. Make cheap, fast and easy payments. Status: Lightning or other L2 solutions are not yet available in the wallet.
  6. Participate in a community of belonging. Status: voting, social media, merchandise store not (yet) integrated in the ShapeShift wallet.
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This is all specifically about our webv2 app – app.shapeshift.com. It doesn’t address all your questions completely, but hopefully it helps!

  1. Exchange FIAT currencies into crypto assets and vice versa (on ramp / off ramp). Status: already possible, but off ramp possibilities are limited to some regions.

Fiat on/off ramps will never be something we can do as a DAO. We’re really only able to point people to partners for that, and those partners are usually regionally limited. I also expect that they’ll be prevented from engaging with a DAO by regulatory or legal issues, so I personally don’t place a great deal of hope in that basket.

  1. Store crypto assets in a secure and decentralized manner. Status: already possible, but mostly ERC20 assets.

There’s an important technical distinction to be made between the “wallet” and the rest of the app. The “wallet” is what actually stores your crypto assets, and while we have our own native software wallet we do support other wallets as well (MetaMask and KeepKey right now, Trezor/Ledger soon to come).

Our native software wallet actually supports a wide variety of coins and chains. Currently only BTC and ETH/ERC-20’s are exposed in the UI, because those are the only chains that Unchained currently supports pulling balances and TX history for. However, the wallet itself also has support for BCH, DGB, Dash, LTC, DOGE, BNB, Rune, Atom, Fio, Terra, Kava, Secret, and Osmosis, and those can be integrated as soon as Unchained supports them as well.

  1. Trade crypto assets in a cheap, fast & easy way. Status: possible but mostly ERC20 assets and high fees.

Our Thorchain integration should help solve this; I’m not 100% sure where the progress of that is in our webv2 platform, but that’s what to look for.

  1. Invest crypto assets (staking, lending, liquidity pools). Status: WETH – Fox Liquidity pool & Fox farming available in the current wallet. Other earning possibilities like Tokemak and Elk Finance have recently been made available, but are not (yet) integrated in the ShapeShift wallet.

I know Tokenomics and Product have lots of thoughts about this; from an engineering perspective I’ll just say that velocity on this stands to get much faster as our software architecture bakes a bit more.

  1. Make cheap, fast and easy payments. Status: Lightning or other L2 solutions are not yet available in the wallet.

The DAO uses the xDai chain for payments via Colony, so there’s a significant incentive for in-app support for the usual L2 EVM chains (xDai / Polygon / BSC) to come soon. (The native wallet supports that sort of Ethereum-compatible chain as well.) I’d love to see Lightning support myself, but that is a significant technical lift so it’s probably lower on the list of priorities.

  1. Participate in a community of belonging. Status: voting, social media, merchandise store not (yet) integrated in the ShapeShift wallet.

Personally, I wouldn’t want social media to be integrated into the wallet. I could see an unobtrusive link somewhere to our Discord, Boardroom, or even merch store, but no deeper integration than that. Maybe voting, but even that I think would be best handled separately; the UI/UX for that will never be one of our core competencies, so it would probably be better to leave it to others.

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