Meet Braavos, the First Mobile Wallet Available on Starknet
At Braavos, we strongly believe in the value that crypto, self-custodial solutions and mobile wallet can bring to the world. This value is essential and is needed now more than in any other historical period, as we explained in our previous article. However, we also recognize that today’s user experience in decentralized crypto is far from what people are used to in classic web2 applications. This is a serious barrier to mass adoption.
Our main goal in Braavos is to change this and reduce the high friction everyday users encounter when trying to use crypto and allow the next wave of users to onboard effortlessly.
We have developed and recently released the first StarkNet mobile wallet for iOS and Android devices on our path to achieving this goal.
Why is a mobile wallet needed on StarkNet?
The Braavos mobile experience is in tandem with the Braavos extension for web browsers. Still, we believe our engineers have managed to take it a few steps further, allowing a superb and ever-evolving experience.
Using the Braavos mobile app, you can:
- hodl your tokens,
- manage your NFT collectibles,
but even more so, access and connect to any dApp on StarkNet from your phone.
So why is it imperative to have a mobile app to access StarkNet and why does it give a much better user experience? We can mention a few reasons:
- Your mobile is always with you, allowing you to access crypto whenever and wherever you want.
- The number of mobile users supersedes desktop users and is constantly growing.
- The experience we can introduce in mobile via touch interface is much more intuitive.
- Secured by Biometric encryption — face recognition or fingerprint identification is a much better login mechanism than passwords.
Even before launching the mobile app, we saw many users trying to use StarkNet and Braavos Chrome extension from their mobile device via all sorts of hacks and special browsers that supports Chrome extensions on mobile. These solutions are not optimal, to say the least, and certainly do not give a good and easy experience.
A native mobile application can offer users a much more straightforward way to access StarkNet and their crypto assets while taking advantage of a mobile platform’s robust capabilities — starting from security and continuing with the various on-device sensors.
Is StarkNet the only solution to create a new wallet experience?
We at Braavos chose to build on top of StarkNet, an Ethereum layer-2 ZK Rollup, out of our strong convictions in Ethereum values — security and decentralization — but also recognizing its lack of scalability.
StarkNet and its growing ecosystem not only present an alignment with those values but it is also built on a superior technology (STARKs) which is battle-tested and future-proof, developed and deployed by some of the brightest minds in the industry.
Running as a self-custodial wallet on top of StarkNet will allow us to offer our users extremely low transaction fees and enjoy the benefits of having account abstraction (a smart contract on-chain that augments the client-side wallet account) and creating an experience that is not possible on Ethereum layer-1. However, StarkNet runs on a completely different tech stack from Ethereum and other EVM-compatible chains.
Being the first to build, Braavos mobile wallet for StarkNet was not an easy endeavor. Many things needed to be optimized specifically for mobile and customized as the ecosystem constantly grows, presenting new requirements and cool use-cases.
Is Braavos the new alternative (and only?) for Crypto and NFT wallets?
For Ethereum to be the world’s computer, it needs to scale.
As mentioned above, we believe that ZK rollups and specifically StarkNet will be a dominant player in bringing the required scale.
While StarkNet presents a tremendous opportunity, it is also a paradigm shift. It is built on a new virtual machine designed specifically to cater STARK proofs and it is not compatible with the Ethereum virtual machine.
Consequently, Ethereum layer-1 wallets and other EVM-compatible wallets do not work out of the box on StarkNet. That’s because StarkNet uses a slightly different encryption mechanism, and wallets on StarkNet are based on smart contracts (i.e., account abstraction is a first-class citizen on StarkNet).
On StarkNet, wallets need more than a public/private key pair. They need to deploy an account contract on-chain to augment the client-side wallet.
However, this also serves as a tremendous opportunity because smart contract based wallets open a whole new design space as they are much more powerful and flexible. They allow us to improve security and user experience for everyday users.
For example, it will enable strong features such as 2FA — high-value transactions require two signatures — one on mobile and the other on desktop.
Another example is account segmentation. Users can divide their assets between different accounts and define a different daily/weekly withdraw limit and different time delays for transferring funds.
You can think of it like a checking and savings account.
The inherit flexibility of having a contract on chain that can run any logic and that represents the user account allows us to offer an order of magnitude better wallet than the traditional client-side only crypto wallets like Metamask.
In our minds, this is the most underestimated opportunity in the blockchain industry.
Where can I get Braavos mobile wallet?
The application is available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for download to anyone in the world who is over 17 years old.
All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.
Go get STARK backed crypto in your pocket ????:
Desktop versions are available on the download page.
How to start?
You have a few options to deposit funds in your Braavos wallet. Click the
Deposit button in the app home screen:
- You can use Banxa and Ramp to deposit funds directly to your Braavos wallet — from your credit card, Apple Pay or perform a bank transfer (depending on your geography)
- You can transfer funds from exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, FTX or Kraken
- You can transfer funds from your existing wallet like Metamask or Braavos.
- You can bridge tokens from Ethereum L1 via Starkgate or from various chains via Orbiter.
(This feature is only available on Desktop while we write this article.)
Suppose you already have a StarkNet browser extension wallet, like Braavos or Metamask. In that case, you can easily recover it on your mobile device — having the same sets of accounts on both desktop and mobile.
See also a step-by-step tutorial here.
If I choose Braavos Wallet Mobile, what can I expect next?
The app will continuously evolve.
It will offer new features and services, such as allowing users to earn a yield on their tokens, borrow, land, and much more.
In addition, as part of Braavos’ goal to significantly improve the user experience and make it more like what users are used to in web2, we will offer various mechanisms that reduce the cognitive and security burden from the users’ shoulders:
- getting rid of seed phrases,
- allow easy recovery of your account if your password is lost.
(while still remaining fully decentralized).
Furthermore, as mentioned above, Braavos will support account segmentation to separate between long-term (high amount) savings and everyday (low amount) spending via supporting withdraw limits and withdraw time delay.
All Braavos wallet smart contracts and applications — Android, iOS, Chrome, Edge, Firefox — are in Alpha stage, as well as the StarkNet network itself.
This means that:
– Things can break and in extreme cases, can lead to a loss of funds.
– The wallet code and the wallet contracts have not yet been audited.
– The wallet code and the contracts can be upgraded without a timelock.