MAY 26, 2023
Reviewing the "Future Representative" AA Crypto Wallet: UniPass User Experience and its Competitors
by Colin Wu, WuBlockchain
Web3 wallets, as huge traffic entry points, have always been given attention within the industry. The industry unicorn, MetaMask, with its powerful money-attracting effect, has drawn industry leaders like the DeFi leader Uniswap and the CEX leader OKX to join the wallet arena. However, due to various problems, the conversion rate from off-chain to on-chain users has not been ideal. The application of AA wallet may be an important part to break the deadlock. On May 20th, UniPass, a smart contract wallet solution developer, and Keystone, a hardware wallet developer, announced their formal merger to establish Account Labs. Both teams will focus on the field of account abstraction. In this article, we will use UniPass as an example to discuss the author's experience using this wallet.
● Receive and send assets
● Display of Tokens and NFT assets
● Connect to UniPass-supported EVM chains for DApps interaction
● Purchase of cryptocurrency
Low Entry Barrier
UniPass lowers the usage and understanding barriers for users. When attempting to register a new wallet account, it is as simple as registering for everyday Web 2 accounts such as Spotify, Twitter, etc. Users can directly register and log in to the wallet using an email address, Google account, or Apple account. The required operations are similar to most Web 2 applications, the wallet design is relatively simple and user-friendly, and it has little difference from the homepages of mainstream digital wallets on the market.
UniPass, as a non-custodial wallet, still grants account autonomy to users. Compared to EOA (Externally Owned Account) wallets, using this wallet does not require users to specifically remember private keys or mnemonic words, thereby avoiding the predicament of losing accounts due to lost mnemonics. Users just need to remember their account password. When an account is lost, it can be retrieved through social recovery methods, such as simple email recovery, text messages, and Google Authenticator. Currently, UniPass supports recovery using email. Furthermore, based on the DKIM protocol, UniPass has pioneered a chain-based email social recovery solution, combining cryptographic principles such as zero-knowledge proofs, that can automatically verify the email belonging to the user's wallet address on the blockchain.
UniPass does not require mnemonic words for account recovery, making it highly convenient to use. However, this kind of recovery method also has certain risks, such as service providers of the provided Web2 accounts committing malicious acts, information leaks from social accounts due to negligence, or loss of verification devices which may lead to wallet assets being stolen. By adding other people's accounts as guardians (Guardian) in UniPass, the issue of single verification point failure can be prevented, and the safety of the account can be ensured by adding dual verification through other accounts.
Although there is the claim of "Gasless Payments", that is, no gas payments, in practice it is found that UniPass only supports no gas payments for a small number of projects. By participating in UniPass activities or tasks, such as watching advertisements, you can acquire AP (Action Points) for paying network gas fees.
Another highlight of UniPass is that users do not need to prepare native tokens on each chain as transaction fees to complete a transaction, they can also choose to use mainstream cryptocurrencies such as USDC, USDT, etc. to replace the native tokens on the network to pay for network gas fees.
UniPass Wallet is compatible with mainstream EVM chains such as ETH, BSC, Polygon, Arbitrum, Avalanche, OKC, and 9 other EVM chains, and supports the receipt and display of digital assets including NFTs. However, compared to most EOA wallets, the chains it supports are relatively limited. When attempting to use native or integrated DApps on popular EVM chains like zkSync Era, Optimism, Fantom, the wallet's limitations prevent use, which also restricts some DApp usage, but it is believed that this will be resolved in the future.
In addition, there is no need to download another plugin or application, you just need to use the web-based wallet. In terms of device compatibility, as a web-based wallet, UniPass can support logging in on various devices, whether it's within the Android or IOS ecosystem, or on tablets, mobile devices, and PCs, you can open and use the wallet, making it quite convenient to use.
In addition to the limited use scenarios caused by the restriction of public chains supported by UniPass Wallet, there are also issues due to the lag in platform development, leading to a lack of depth in available usage. When I tried to use the Magic Eden NFT marketplace on the Ethereum chain, I found that bugs or connection errors easily occurred. Even for some of the chains that UniPass supports, the platforms on those chains may not have integrated with AA wallets or may temporarily be incompatible due to limited development or lag, which is not friendly to Degen users.
Comparing with some well-known AA wallets:
Supports smart contract wallets on Ethereum Layer 2, previously raised a total of $56 million.
● Social Recovery: Supports user registration and login with email and phone number without the need for a paper backup of the mnemonic.
● Multi-chain Compatibility: Currently supports zkSync lite and ETH network.
● Supports non-native network tokens as gas payment.
● Device Compatibility: Supports plugins and mobile devices.
The next-generation smart contract wallet supported by ERC-4337, currently needs to apply for a candidate list for the experience.
● Social Recovery: Supports account recovery with the help of friends, and doesn't need mnemonics during creation.
● Two-factor Authentication: Protects the security of user assets.
● Supports ERC-20 standard tokens as Gas payment.
● Device Compatibility: Plugin wallet.
Account abstraction wallet launched by Instadapp.
● Multi-chain Compatibility: Supports multiple EVM chains such as ETH, BSC, Polygon, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism, Fantom, Gnosis.
● Supports USDC as Gas payment token.
● Device Compatibility: Web wallet.
The Future of AA Wallets
Upon comprehensive experience, AA wallets like UniPass have seen a significant improvement in usability compared to mainstream EOA wallets, focusing more on the integration with off-chain scenarios and breaking down barriers. The operation logic is similar to mainstream Web 2 application operation behavior, which is indeed a great entry point for "newbie" users, meeting basic needs while not requiring them to understand too much professional knowledge.
In an environment with potentially a large number of incremental users, matching the usage habits of Web2 users is an appropriate approach. Although the current AA wallets may not be able to meet the needs of deep users due to developmental lag, the supported functions such as gas fee delegation, batch transactions, multisignature, etc., are more powerful than today's mainstream EOA wallets. They also have stronger expandability, such as the ability to install operations similar to plug-ins, making the function more diversified. This undoubtedly greatly enhances the potential of AA wallets. Users can freely DIY plug-ins into the wallet to make interactions more fun. In addition, with the cooperation of UniPass with leading wallet applications like MetaMask, hardware wallet developer Keystone, and others, learning from each other and drawing on each other's strengths, the boundary between AA wallets and EOA wallets may become blurred in the future, bringing a more comfortable user experience.