Plaid, the fintech open banking and API firm, has launched Wallet Onboard. It enables web3 developers to easily integrate cryptocurrency solutions with hundreds of types of self custody wallets via a single API, rather than integrating with each one individually.
The Beta version of Wallet Onboard only works with Ethereum compatible networks such as Polygon, with plans to expand beyond this. It says it supports 300 different wallets, including Metamask, Coinbase Wallet, Ledger, Trezor and Gnosis Safe.
However, Plaid hasn’t entirely created the code on its own. An existing open source solution WalletConnect already connects to more than 200 wallets and is incorporated in Plaid’s solution.
The ability to connect to multiple different blockchain networks is a pressing need. Fireblocks, the custody, transfer and settlement platform, recently also integrated WalletConnect to support the Solana blockchain.
On the one hand, something like WalletConnect saves developers masses amounts of time so they can focus on productive work. On the other hand, as these sorts of solutions become more popular, any bugs can potentially expose huge numbers of user wallets to a hack.
Meanwhile, Visa agreed to acquire Plaid for $5.3 billion in 2020 but faced an antitrust suit from the U.S. Department of Justice, resulting in Visa dropping the bid.