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Web3 infrastructure player WalletConnect shares decentralization roadmap for web3 communications protocol

WalletConnect prepares to launch its closed network as part of a four-phase decentralization effort

NEW YORK -– December 20, 2023 –- Today, Pedro Gomes, CEO and founder of WalletConnect – a leading web3 communications protocol – announces an ambitious new roadmap to build an open, permissionless, and decentralized network that will both improve performance of the WalletConnect Protocol and achieve functionality that better aligns with the tenets of web3. Milestones on the roadmap will be tested, audited and executed over the next year, concluding with a proposed formal launch of an open, permissionless WalletConnect Network in 2025. 

The announcement arrives at a time when centralized control of web3 protocols is increasingly creating a choke-point for web3, posing a significant threat to the security and resiliency of the web3 ecosystem. The current environment - rife with regulatory uncertainty, potential for censorship, and security threats - underlines the importance of decentralization and demonstrates the need for the industry to take tangible steps towards achieving this.

Over the last five years, the WalletConnect Protocol successfully established paths of interoperability linking millions of users across more than 3,000 decentralized applications and over 500 wallets. The protocol was designed to be open, federated and decentralized; however, the initial framework necessitated a closed system that could safely scale while ensuring reliability. Now, the WalletConnect Protocol will be able to safely transition to the purely decentralized, permissionless, and verifiable WalletConnect Network and still maintain the same reliability and low-latency that users experience today. 

“Decentralization is crucial for ensuring that connectivity is truly owned by everyone. After establishing WalletConnect and building the proper infrastructure and architecture of the protocol, we’re excited for this long-awaited update,” said Gomes. “WalletConnect is moving progressively and intently towards a decentralized network by distributing control and data across multiple nodes, enhancing strength, protection, and privacy for users. We hope this not only motivates but also encourages more to follow suit and understand the role we all play in a decentralized ecosystem.”

Through a four-phase approach, the Protocol is progressing towards a fully-decentralized protocol:

  • Phase One (current): Close beta test and prepare for the launch of the closed, permissioned WalletConnect Network. Expand infrastructure to multiple relayers and apply a consistent-hashing approach from low-latency/high-throughput database principles in order to progressively decentralize while maintaining the same level of user experience.
  • Phase Two (Q1 2024): Launch and test the closed, permissioned WalletConnect Network. Implement a permissioned registry approach, in which multiple parties can read and write to the database. 
  • Phase Three (Q2 2024): Launch and test the open, permissioned WalletConnect Network. Federate the WalletConnect Network by expanding its core infrastructure into a permissioned network, utilizing selected third-party relayers to establish a genuine peer-to-peer framework, enabling gradual network access while testing incentives for participant rewards. During this time, external partners - including some of the largest web2 tech companies - have committed to running a node to test the infrastructure.
  • Phrase Four (late 2025): Launch the open, permissionless WalletConnect Network. The WalletConnect Network will transition to a fully decentralized state, operated collectively by a community of infrastructure providers, ensuring independent operation devoid of centralized control, while incentivizing node operators equally to uphold network speed, security, and performance.

“This transition is not without its challenges, but the potential benefits far outweigh the complexities involved. The future success of web3 is contingent on our ability to adapt and build a truly decentralized ecosystem. WalletConnect is eager to seize this opportunity to create a dependable web3 stack for our customers and partners,” concluded Gomes.

WalletConnect is both proud of reaching this milestone, and looks forward to demonstrating to the entire web3 community that this is both a necessary and achievable step for similar infrastructure providers across the industry. In a highly integrated and interdependent industry where wallets, dapps, and protocols alike rely on each other for full success, so too must each play its part in helping web3 to fulfill its ultimate promise. 

About WalletConnect

Founded in 2018 by CEO Pedro Gomes, WalletConnect is the web3 communications protocol enabling interoperability between wallets and dapps across chains. Having been integrated by over 500 wallets and 3,000 apps, it facilitates millions of end user connections each month. Today, it is also empowering developers to build engaging web3 experiences with a suite of SDKs: Web3Modal, Web3Wallet, and Web3Inbox. It has raised $25 million from some of the world’s leading tech and crypto investors, including Union Square Ventures, 1kx, Shopify, Coinbase Ventures, Circle Ventures, and Uniswap Labs Ventures. WalletConnect integrations currently span the Ethereum, Solana, NEAR, Cosmos, and other blockchains. For more information, please visit https://walletconnect.com.

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