Modular Wallet Architecture: Enabling Vertical Industries at Scale

Joan Alavedra
Modular Wallet Cover

It's been really interesting to see how wallets have been talked about this past year. Wallets were created as a tool for holding keys and managing transactions on the blockchain. They were not initially designed with future use cases in mind, and even though their purpose has changed in recent years, the foundational design and architecture has remained mostly the same.

But now, things are changing. Whether it's because of the bear market or not, the era of rewarding users for taking risks associated with wallet operations is coming to an end. The industry has started to ask great questions - what are wallets now, how did they get here, and what do they need to be for crypto to really reach regular people?


From transferring and holding BTC to playing Axie Infinity, we've come across many innovations. Custodial to non-custodial wallets, user friendly wallets to interact with decentralised apps, beautiful mobile apps with ability to read several standards like ERC20s or ERC721s.

At the same time, we’re also seeing new dynamics playing out in space. Wallets becoming identity managers, protocols going vertical by owning the wallet stack for their users, wallets becoming super-apps/browsers for apps and much more.

And while we’re all experimenting with new ways to add utility into the crypto, new technologies wallet technologies like MPC (multi-party computation) and AA (account abstraction) presents an opportunity to bring the industry up to par with other industries where current approaches might be ready for disruption (ie. marketplaces, communities, games, etc.).

All in all, we’re living through a time of verticalization or unbundling, where the dominance of monolithic wallet providers is threatened by the emergence of compelling products in different verticals, similar to the stack of payment companies that rose from the expansion of digital payments.

That’s why we need to rethink what truly means to be the users' first entry points into crypto. While harder problems around at the protocol level are being solved we need infrastructure and middleware that can abstract away the hard parts of crypto from both users and developers.

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Wallets at scale are going to need:

  • Support and abstraction for multiple verticals.
  • Capacity to generate 1000s of wallets with millions of transactions per second (TPS) with programmable permissions.
  • Accesibility via APIs and SDKs.

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We're arguably in the most exciting time to build in the crypto space. We can finally move from trying to do it all to developing real infrastructure categories that will support the creation of meaningful products. It's about time!