MetaMask interoperable with Bitcoin for first time

Metamask Snaps are features created by third parties that expand use cases of Metamask wallets

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Ascannio/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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New functionality from Consensys, dubbed MetaMask Snaps, will allow customization of MetaMask wallets to a much greater extent than was previously possible.

As of Tuesday’s launch, there will be 34 Snaps available, all of which were created by third-party developers and audited by Consensys developers.

For the first time, MetaMask, a platform that was primarily designed for the Ethereum network and Ethereum virtual machine chains, will be interoperable with other layer-1 blockchains through Snaps. 

Right now, this includes Bitcoin, Solana, Cosmos, layer-2 StarkNet, and more. 

Snaps also enable notifications for decentralized apps (dapps). Unlike the pop ups that MetaMask shows when a wallet connects to a site, notifications are specific to the various Snaps that the user has installed. 

The notification API only exists in the MetaMask browser extension, meaning that users won’t be able to get push notifications on mobile devices just yet.

Christian Montoya, the senior product owner of MetaMask Snaps, told Blockworks that notifications through Snaps don’t require users to share an email address or a phone number.

“It’s because you deploy the snap, and you control it,” Montoya said in an interview. “[Developers] can offer it as something to users that they can install in Metamask and have notifications from your dapp, or your aggregator or your protocol.”

However, notifications require configuration after installation, according to Montoya, making it a bit more complicated for new users. 

The transaction insights Snaps, however, don’t have as steep of a learning curve and can give users a heads up if they’re about to transact with a malicious smart contract or if they’re vulnerable to a phishing scam.

“It’ll warn you if you’re about to make a mistake,” Montoya said.

Other use cases include encrypted device storage and the customization of the wallet user experience, according to the developer documentation.

There’s also a plan to make Snaps permissionless. Right now, Consensys, MetaMask’s parent company, maintains a rigid allowlist. This means that to publish a Snap, Consensys has to approve. 

According to Montoya, this won’t be forever. 

“We’re actually building systems […] where we can have smart contracts that power our registry approach, and we can have ways for users or auditors or respected entities within the community to participate in vetting the snaps that developers are publishing,” Montoya said.

“We’re at the early stages of this,” Montoya continued. “We want users to try Snaps and give us feedback and help us design these types of systems in the future that will enable everything to be fully decentralized.”

Updated Sept. 12, 2023 at 10:25 am ET: MetaMask is not interoperable with Filecoin through Snaps.


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