Today we're going to take a look at a new contender in the marketplace of crypto wallets and managers that is poised to become among the most widely used Dapps and the new face of Web 3.0. We'll learn why it's going to help revolutionize the accessibility and usability of cryptocurrency, usher in cryptocurrency adoption, and why it in fact takes the title of Best Dapp.
Conceived originally as a competitor to purely Ethereum network based Metamask, Equal is a browser based wallet extension that "aims to solve the problem of the lack of blockchain interoperability by being blockchain agnostic and therefore truly integrated with Web 3.0" (David Di Stefano, CEO). In addition to multi chain support, the Equal Wallet will introduce a much needed improvement in user experience to crypto users, inexperienced and experienced alike.
Having used crypto and its related applications since summer 2017, I remember coming back to Metamask after not using it for some time, only to find a recently updated version that left me more confused than ever. I had never really understood it very well in the first place. I was amazed at how cumbersome crypto still is. I'm not completely tech illiterate, and yet this wallet extension was still so foreign to me. Serious knowledge barriers persisted.
I remember thinking..."If after all this time, I still have this much trouble using something which is designed to make crypto easy, what chance is there the average person will ever adopt crypto in daily life?" It seemed obvious that the crypto space was in dire need of a more intuitive version of the Metamask concept. This must be exactly what the founders at Equal were thinking when they started the project. And they have boldly set about solving this issue ever since.
Metamask also so far only supports the Ethereum network, unnecessarily limiting the reach of the application. After all, if you're leaving out a huge chunk of all cryptocurrency transactions, you cannot be the face of Web 3.0, and you certainly cannot be the Best DApp! Equal on the other hand is building a crypto agnostic interface, and already offers multi-chain support including BinanceChain in addition to Ethereum, with support for Bitcoin and other chains on the way. It seems like an obvious step and yet one Metamask so far doesn't seem very ambitious about.
In addition, many people continue to have issues with Metamask hosted transactions not going through. I've personally gone to increase the gas fee and the extension won't allow me to change it for whatever reason. Then I have to cancel the transaction, incur the associated fee, and start the whole process all over again, only to have another issue with adjusting the gas fee. Others have had this and similar issues.
Solutions and Features
Equal was designed to integrate seamlessly with various Dapps and DEX's with the goal of making crypto users' notoriously cumbersome experience less so, and being the go-to application for users the world over to interact with the emerging decentralized web.
Divided by categories such as Finance, Social, Games, and Marketplaces--right within the extension is a Dapp store with links to Dapps that have already been integrated, with more to be added in the future. Hopefully the team will decide to stick with only quality Dapps that people actually use regularly so as to keep the interface uncluttered. After all, the goal here is a pleasant user experience, and no one wants to use a wallet that's overcrowded with junky apps no one even uses.
Some of the popular Dapps currently included that you might already be familiar with are: Binance DEX, IDEX, BountyOx, Nexo lending platform, MakerDAO, Cent, CryptoKitties, and Request. I decided to see what happened when I clicked on IDEX, and was pleased to see that once I landed on the IDEX login page, all I had to do was select IDEX's software wallet login option and it automatically linked to my Equal wallet. I was set to trade any funds I had in my Equal wallet with only two simple clicks.
Next I decided to see what happened when I clicked on Cent, a somewhat popular Ethereum based social media platform. I haven't used a wallet in conjunction with Cent often, but I found my way to 'settings' and there it told me that my "current wallet is not authorized." But I could see that the current wallet it was referring to was indeed my Equal wallet. So all I had to do was click one button to affirm that I wanted it authorized for use and I was ready to use my Equal wallet with the Cent platform. Nice! So far the "seamless integration" claim has held true twice.
With support for an already robust and ever growing list of supported tokens, Equal will also automatically update your token portfolio for you. No more needing to manually add tokens to your wallet. I purposely sought out a very obscure token with almost no exchange volume, and after sending to my wallet, Equal found and displayed the name and amount in my portfolio automatically!
Equipped with both light and dark modes, the team at Equal has also clearly put a lot of thought and design effort into the extension as it has a much warmer, less clinical look than Metamask and is just generally much more aesthetically appealing. Considering that it's well known that the attractiveness and layout of applications and websites plays a large role in attracting regular users, this alone should go a long way toward encouraging growth of cryptocurrency use.
Another great--and let's face it, ultimately necessary--feature Equal has included, is an automatic gas fee calculator for all your Ethereum based transactions. I've always felt setting gas fees was a huge turn-off to new crypto users. It's just so much fuss to go through to make a simple transaction when we're all used to just swiping a card or letting Chrome automatically enter our account numbers and then hitting the purchase button. Equal has taken care of this, as there is now no need to look up the current average gas price to make sure you're not overpaying in fees. Or even worse, underpaying, resulting in a transaction that gets stuck for days, or even fails entirely. Ain't nobody got time for that! Equal has put an end to the gas fee guessing madness as it will find and automatically apply the best fee for you.
Equal features that trump Metamask
- Built-in Dapp Store
- Automatically updates your portfolio with wide array of supported tokens when you receive them. No need to do it manually
- Better seamless integration with many Dapps and DEX's. No more obtrusive full page signing screens that take you completely away from the page you were navigating, as Equal has proven them unnecessary
- Multichain support (Ethereum and BinanceChain, with Bitcoin and more on the way)
- Automatic best gas fee finder/setter
- Warmer more pleasant aesthetic and more intuitive interface
- All balances displayed in local currency
- NSA grade security
- Generally overall better user experience
The Equal Wallet will set the standard of product development that all Equal powered services should be aiming to reach, in regards to ease of use, design and an overarching goal to allow for the mainstream adoption of simple to use crypto services.
In addition to adding support for additional chains, Equal's roadmap includes
- In app swaps between tokens
- Bitcoin Integration
- Multi-country credit card buying support
- Internal swapping exchange
- Wyre Integration for funding via bank account
- Automatic add support for more tokens
- integration of additional Dapps and Dexes
- Android and IOS apps
- NFC (non-fungible token) implementation
Metamask may actually currently have a slight edge on Equal in one regard, and that is ENS support. As many are already aware, ENS stands for Ethereum Name Service, which is a service that connects Ethereum and other blockchain addresses with a human readable address name. So rather than users providing each other addresses which are a long string of random numbers and letters, they can use an address which is user friendly, such as "Publish0x.ETH."
However the recently reorganized Equal team has announced that support for another reputable human readable name service, Unstoppable Domains, is coming soon. Unstoppable Domains currently offers support for more than fifty cryptocurrencies, with more to be added. And while it hasn't yet been announced, there is no reason ENS support can't be integrated down the road.
Also one thing I still find cumbersome about crypto wallets is the constant automatic sign outs. I can appreciate that it's a security measure, but it is indeed frustrating to be logged out after only a few minutes of inactivity. Of course our banks do the same thing, but whereas my bank gives me about twenty minutes, Equal gives users closer to five. Plus when I do online banking, I'm usually in and out, without significant periods of inactivity. With crypto, you may be doing many different things at roughly the same time. For instance you might log in just to check your balance. Then a few minutes later you want to connect to a DEX or a social media platform, only to find you're already signed out and have to do it again. It can be a real hassle and a barrier to mass adoption as far as I'm concerned.
Despite these minor issues, and even with Equal still being a Beta product, so far my experience with it trumps Metamask significantly. It shows great promise in achieving what it has set out to do--improve upon the browser extension wallet concept, but also expand on it. For this reason it is easy to nominate it for Best D'App.
Browser extension wallets offer a level of accessiblity in managing and sending and receiving our crypto that no other type of wallet allows, and for this reason are bound to play a vital role in cryptocurrency adoption. But without advancements in their design and implementation, new potential crypto users may get turned off by an otherwise overly cumbersome experience. It is time one of the main entry points into crypto gets a user experience overhaul, and an aesthetic make-over with more mass appeal.
Equal is a great management tool with a team that not only has recognized this need, but has executed their vision accordingly. Equal seems to simply suffer from a lack of awareness and perhaps marketing at the moment. It seems like almost no one even know about it. But often this is a sign of a project that has got its head down and is more focused on building than showing off. Equal gives me new hope that crypto may indeed make it into the daily lives of people everywhere, and for that reason, it is my pleasure to submit it as the Best Dapp for 2020 and beyond.
If you'd like to learn more about Equal you can do so here.
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