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June 28, 2024
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Pedro Gomes
The WalletConnect Protocol: Celebrating 12 months of progress
Over the past 12 months, WalletConnect has expanded beyond Ethereum, introduced innovative features like wallet notifications and one-click authentication, and made crucial infrastructure improvements. Discover how these advancements are shaping the future of web3 usability.

For years, WalletConnect has enabled seamless interoperability between any wallet, any app and any chain, fostering the growth of web3. Along the way, we have continuously built and refined our infrastructure to support a wide array of use cases. Over the past 12 months, we have witnessed significant upgrades and innovations,  achieved through mass coordination and collaboration with thousands of our partners, that have solidified the WalletConnect network as a cornerstone of the decentralized ecosystem. Today, we celebrate these milestones and look forward to the exciting future of the platform – a platform built to address the needs of the New Internet.

Last year’s major upgrade has enabled to extend the benefits of the WalletConnect protocol beyond Ethereum, successfully onboarding wallets and apps from other ecosystems such as Solana, Polkadot, Cosmos, Hedera, MultiVerseX, TON, Stellar, Flow, Near, Tron, Starknet and many others. This expansion was made possible because of the introduction of CAIPs (Chain Agnostic Improvement Proposals) into the design, allowing wallets to connect to multiple chains simultaneously and integrate with current and future blockchain ecosystems.

Innovating UX

Our focus on modularity and upgradability has paved the way for a more reliable network connection and most importantly brand new user experiences around notifications and authentications. 

To deliver a more reliable network connection, the data and transport layers were separate providing a more frugal bandwidth. WebSocket-based connections are now multiplexed which means any device only utilizes a single connection and the system is able to scale its load horizontally.

The introduction of wallet notifications enabled users to subscribe to their favorite apps directly from their wallets and receive relevant notifications about their web3 activity through push notifications—a major step towards truly web3-native communications. 

Additionally, the One-click auth standard (aka CAIP-222) enabled users can skip connecting their wallet and signing in with their favorite wallet right away in a single step. This is already being supported by Trust, Zerion, and Binance Web3 Wallet, and we expect 8 wallets to support it in the next 6 months.

Meanwhile, the introduction of One-Click Auth standard allows users to bypass the traditional wallet connection process, enabling a seamless sign-in experience with their preferred wallet in a single step. The one-click auth experience is a stepping stone towards our broader vision of smart sessions, where transaction approvals can occur in-app without repeatedly redirecting users to their wallets. 

Enhancing infrastructure 

Our recent upgrades have not been limited to the application layer. Significant developments in the infrastructure layer have propelled four paths to decentralization. Most notably, the network’s global expansion has reduced latency, particularly in regions like Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Additionally, we have re-architectured our storage with an innovative database design that achieves low latency in a distributed manner, free from vendor lock-in by cloud providers. These upgrades are essential for new node operators to be able to run nodes in a multitude of infrastructure setups without impacting the low-latency requirements of today.

Low latency and reliability have always been key priorities for the WalletConnect Network. We have tracked substantial improvements in success rates across top wallets, alongside a significant reduction in node operation costs. These upgrades are a testament to the importance of our modular and upgradable network design, which allows continuous infrastructure improvements without downtime and supports our decentralization goals.

Switching gears, we've initially partnered with 5 node operators and successfully maintained our network since April, which will soon be using real traffic mirrored into our staging environment. With a total of 10 nodes currently operational, this collaboration has been incredibly rewarding for our team and partners. We look forward to sharing more details soon.

The road ahead

Last but certainly not least, we are thrilled to see the remarkable growth of the WalletConnect network over the last 12 months. The number of projects, including both apps and wallets, has surged by over 300%, from 6.85K to 26.2K. Additionally,  we’ve seen a nearly 400% increase in connections plus an even more impressive over 330% growth in monthly unique wallets connected to the network.

It’s been an incredible journey to see WalletConnect grow to what it is today: a highly active network that interoperates between hundreds of apps and wallets across multiple chains. Looking ahead, we look forward to seeing it evolve from a foundational web3 connection layer into a pivotal usability platform. The evolution will introduce Smart Sessions, offering users a new streamlined experience with fewer clicks and enhanced choice, control, and composability in the emerging internet that is designed for ownership.

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