MetaMask and Blockaid Launch Privacy-Preserving Security Alerts for Web3
MetaMask, the globally recognized self-custody web3 platform developed by Consensys, and Blockaid, a leading provider of web3 security solutions, have jointly unveiled a revolutionary feature within the MetaMask extension. This innovative development establishes MetaMask as the world’s first self-custody web3 wallet to integrate native security alerts. These alerts are designed to proactively prevent malicious transactions, offering robust protection against scams, phishing attempts, and hacking, all while safeguarding users’ privacy.
A Groundbreaking Initiative to Safeguard Billions of Dollars in Web3 Assets
The official launch of this groundbreaking security feature is scheduled for October 31st, 2023, with desktop users having the option to opt-in via the MetaMask experimental setting. Subsequently, the feature will be introduced on the MetaMask mobile app in November. By the first quarter of 2024, this privacy-preserving security alert system will be seamlessly integrated and enabled by default in the wallet, aiming to benefit 100% of MetaMask’s extensive user base.
Revolutionizing Security in the Web3 Ecosystem
MetaMask and Blockaid have ventured into uncharted territory with their innovative approach to security. Unlike most web3 wallets that rely on sharing users’ transaction data with third parties to provide security alerts, this collaborative effort has introduced a unique privacy-preserving module. This module effectively simulates transactions, eliminating the need to expose every single transaction and signature request to external entities.
According to Dan Finlay, Co-Founder of MetaMask and Chief Ethos Officer at Consensys, the introduction of these native privacy-preserving security alerts is not only a leap in enhancing user safety but also sets a new benchmark for privacy-preserving security within the web3 ecosystem. The commitment to user privacy aligns with the core values of web3 and is considered a guiding principle in the development of solutions designed to improve this space. The aim is to empower users and provide them with the confidence needed to navigate the web3 landscape.
Blockaid’s Proven Track Record
Blockaid has a remarkable track record in preventing theft within the web3 ecosystem. Notably, when Vitalik Buterin’s X (formerly Twitter) account was hacked to promote a malicious dapp, Blockaid’s proactive scanning identified the threat, preventing over $100,000 in digital assets from being stolen. A similar scam targeting the CEO of Uniswap’s X account was also thwarted by Blockaid, avoiding any losses. These incidents serve as compelling examples of the proactive approach taken by Blockaid to avert digital asset theft, an issue that persists in the web3 ecosystem.
Addressing the Growing Challenges of Web3 Security
The web3 ecosystem is dynamic and rapidly expanding, with approximately 3-4 new decentralized applications (dapps) emerging every minute. This translates to approximately 5,000 new dapps created daily. Shockingly, Blockaid estimates that around 10% of these dapps may have malicious intentions. Unintended transaction outcomes have consistently ranked among the most common causes of fund loss incidents within MetaMask.
Security alerts that proactively thwart malicious transactions are pivotal in safeguarding users against scams, phishing attempts, and hacks. A recent survey commissioned by Consensys regarding perceptions of web3 revealed that 52% of Nigerian respondents cited “too many scams” as one of the primary barriers to entering the crypto ecosystem. This highlights the critical importance of enhancing user safety to promote broader adoption.
Previous Success and Future Goals
In April 2023, MetaMask and Blockaid introduced Opensea security alerts as an experimental opt-in feature. This feature saw an impressive adoption rate among an average of 4% of MetaMask users. It successfully averted asset theft valued at $500 million based on prevented and identified malicious transactions since its introduction.
Given the success of this experimental feature, MetaMask and Blockaid have high expectations for the new privacy-preserving security alerts. When this feature becomes a default setting for MetaMask wallets, it is anticipated to prevent the loss of assets worth billions of dollars.
Ido Ben-Natan, Co-founder and CEO of Blockaid, emphasizes the importance of enhancing web3 security for the broader adoption of the ecosystem. He believes that safety is a fundamental prerequisite for the platform to be ready for billions of users.
Barbara Schorchit, Senior Product Owner at MetaMask, underscores the commitment to preparing for the broader adoption of web3 by the next billion users. The focus is on creating a privacy-preserving version of security alerts that eliminates the need to share each transaction and signature request data with third parties. Blockaid’s solution for validating dapp transactions effectively safeguards users from malicious transactions without compromising their privacy.
Complementary Features for Enhanced Security
In September of this year, MetaMask introduced MetaMask Snaps for advanced users, including a Transaction Insights category. While the new privacy-preserving security alerts will be seamlessly integrated within MetaMask, users will continue to have the opportunity to add their preferred security layers by installing transaction insights via MetaMask Snaps. The new security alerts are intended to complement rather than replace Transaction Insights Snaps, creating multiple layers of protection.
The Role of Education
While the partnership between Blockaid and MetaMask is expected to have a substantial impact on bolstering security, education remains a pivotal component in ensuring that users engage safely and responsibly within the web3 ecosystem. In January 2023, MetaMask unveiled MetaMask Learn, a learning simulation platform designed to assist users in navigating the intricacies of the web3 landscape and self-custody wallets.
This platform seamlessly combines visual learning methods with hands-on testing, offering a comprehensive and engaging approach to comprehending the complexities inherent in web3 concepts. The recently launched Security module within MetaMask Learn aims to educate users on how to identify malicious activity and keep their assets secure.