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Coinbase Wallet Introduces Messaging Feature for Direct User Interaction

Andrew Throuvalas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe / prima91

Coinbase’s self-custody wallet – one of the most popular tools for personally safeguarding one’s crypto holdings – will soon function as a simultaneous encrypted messaging service, the company revealed on Wednesday. 

In a video statement, the company said its product will be “the only wallet with built-in messaging powered by XMTP” – a web3-based decentralized communications network and messaging service.

Using the network, Coinbase’s messaging service can support and search for human-readable Ethereum addresses (ex. Ethereum Name Service’s ‘.eth’ addresses, or Lens protocol’s .lens addresses.). 

Wallet owners also have access to the previously available Coinbase Decentralized ID (cb.id) addresses which, unlike ENS, are free to establish. 

In a follow-up Twitter thread, Coinbase explained that messaging is interoperable, meaning chats can be moved between Coinbase wallet and any other application leveraging XMTP, such as Lenster or Orb.

“Like all of your digital assets, your chats are fully yours to own,” the company wrote. “Coinbase does not have access to them, only you do.”

“Your messages are end-to-end encrypted and stored in XMTP’s decentralized and secure communication network,” it added.

Within the messaging app, users may also seamlessly send thousands of different cryptocurrencies to one anyone using any crypto asset supported by Coinbase wallet, per a company press release.  

When transacting in the Circle-issued stablecoin USDC, transactions are made gas free by leveraging Polygon – Ethereum’s layer-2 blockchain for more scalable and cheap transactions. 

Like traditional messaging apps, users can block incoming messages to their inbox, and view the wallet profiles of other users before connecting with them. 

Combining Crypto With Messaging

One of the purported benefits of the service, from a payments perspective, is allowing users to safely know who they’re sending money to before pressing send. The firm stated:

“Gone are the days when you had to send a small balance to confirm a wallet address. No more guessing if a person’s social profile matches their wallet. Eliminate unnecessary risk and potential losses with the help of messaging.”

As Coinbase wallet enters the messaging sphere, legacy messaging services are also integrating crypto. Telegram – a p2p messaging service popular in crypto circles – recently announced its chat API bot “Wallet,” letting merchants facilitate Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC) payments directly in Telegram’s interface. 

In its lawsuit against Coinbase in June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Coinbase Wallet has allowed Coinbase to operate as an “unregistered broker” by allowing users to “route orders through third-party crypto asset trading platforms.”