What is WalletConnect?(And How to Use It)
WalletConnect is a single-integration, open-source protocol. Developers can use WalletConnect to enable users from 166 wallets to log into decentralized applications they’ve created. These applications, also known as dApps, are apps hosted on decentralized networks like the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
This article will explain the important role WalletConnect plays in the ecosystem, the technical details of the protocol, and how to use the app.
Why use WalletConnect to connect to your wallet?
Ethereum developers formerly built individual integrations for every single web3 crypto wallet so wallet users could log into their application.
This punished the first adopters of new wallets. Because developers were unlikely to code integrations for niche wallets with small user bases, it centralized the Ethereum ecosystem around MetaMask, the default wallet.
WalletConnect changed this: for the cost of a single integration, users could gain access to 161 different wallets. Today,166 dApps offer WalletConnect as a login option, including some of the biggest dApps in the ecosystem such as Uniswap, OpenSea, and Etherscan.
WalletConnect has enabled an explosion of creativity in wallet design and features by making it effortless for developers to open their apps up to users of all kinds of wallets. This protocol is symbolic of cryptocurrency’s ethos in decentralizing power and enabling new experiences for users.
What chains does WalletConnect support?
WalletConnect supports the Ethereum, Cosmos, Polkadot, Near, Solana, and Celo chains, but not the Binance Smart Chain.
WalletConnect is even capable of connecting a wallet to different chains at the same time.
What wallets are compatible with WalletConnect?
Examples of compatible wallets include:
Note: WalletConnect is not compatible with Coinbase Wallet.
How to use WalletConnect?
- Head to a dApp which supports WalletConnect. The dApp and wallet of choice in this tutorial will be Uniswap, a decentralized finance application, and Rainbow respectively, but the instructions will work for any WalletConnect-compatible dApp and wallet. Click ‘Connect Wallet’ to begin.
- Next select WalletConnect from the options shown. A QR code should pop up on your screen. WalletConnect assumes by default that users wish to login through a mobile wallet. If you plan on using a desktop wallet instead, click the ‘Desktop’ label.
- Pull out your phone and open your mobile wallet. Most wallets will have an icon of a hollowed out square, as seen on the right in the image below. Tapping this icon will bring out the camera to scan the QR code. If this symbol does not exist, head to settings and look for ‘Scan QR code’.
- After scanning, the dApp will request permission to connect.
- You have now successfully logged into the dApp through your wallet.
Is WalletConnect safe?
Yes! The information sent between dApps and wallets is encrypted symmetrically with a key that only these two entities possess.
The key is sent directly to the wallet from the dApp. Whether users scan through the QR code or choose deep linking with a desktop wallet, there are no intermediaries.
While information between the two is handled by a public bridge server, the server does not receive the key needed to decrypt the information. Furthermore, developers can choose to host their own bridge servers for full protection.
The beauty of this design is that WalletConnect does not need your seed nor recovery phrase to login to a dApp.Below is a diagram that showcases the flow of information between the dApp and wallet, mediated by the bridge server.
Inside the QR code is WalletConnect’s URI scheme, which is shown below, along with a table that explains what the variables represent.
You can find WalletConnect’s codebase on the WalletConnect Github.
How to implement WalletConnect
For the most up to date instructions on how to implement WalletConnect, find the docs here.
WalletConnect alternatives and competitors
There are no real competitors to WalletConnect. Because Metamask uses WalletConnect as a login option for their mobile wallet, the WalletConnect vs MetaMask comparison is a false dichotomy.
Just like WalletConnect, we at Alchemy push the ecosystem forward by making life easier for developers through our products.
When developers stop self-hosting nodes and switch to Alchemy Supernode, they’re taking advantage of the most widely used API for node management. Supernode provides a powerful suite of analytics and developer tools, which can speed up the debugging process and provide simple API calls for important requests.
Explore the suite of products that support over $100 billion in transactions and some of the most popular dApps like OpenSea and NBA Top Shot at Alchemy.com.
Want more? Learn how API3 is using Alchemy in a variety of ways, including powering WalletConnect integration on their DAO dashboard.