routing feature, MetaMask aims to provide users with optimal execution and an improved user experience. The feature, built by Special Mechanisms Group (SMG), which was acquired by MetaMask’s parent company Consensys last year, will eventually be available to third parties.
MetaMask, the most popular crypto wallet on Ethereum, is testing a transaction routing technology that could have significant implications for how value flows through the blockchain network. This new technology, based on the concept of intents, is gaining momentum in the blockchain community and could lead to a radical shift in how people interact with blockchains.
Traditionally, blockchain users have had to specify how they want to complete a task, such as selling tokens on a specific exchange at a certain price. However, with intent-centric protocols, users only need to specify the desired outcome, such as getting the best price for their tokens. This subtle distinction represents a departure from the original purpose of MetaMask and other crypto wallets, which were designed as neutral software for connecting users to blockchains.
The goal of MetaMask’s new routing technology is to provide users with better execution on their transactions and improved ease of use. By using intent-based programs, value flows on blockchains can be directed to the most optimal path and recipient. This represents a significant shift in how value is allocated on blockchains.
The new technology is being developed by SMG, a blockchain infrastructure firm that Consensys acquired last year. An early version of SMG’s routing tech is already being used to power Smart Swaps, a feature in the MetaMask browser extension that allows users to swap between tokens. With Smart Swaps, users can simply request that MetaMask sell their tokens for the best price available, without needing to specify the exact details of the transaction.
Once fully implemented, Smart Swaps will be powered by a network of third-party blockchain operators who will find the optimal route for a swap and execute the necessary transactions on behalf of the user. Unlike a simple exchange aggregator, which compares prices on different exchanges, Smart Swaps with its new routing tech will have the freedom to choose the most efficient path to fulfill a user’s request.
Consensys plans to expand the routing feature beyond Smart Swaps to other transaction types in the future and make it available to third parties. However, the use of the technology will always be optional for MetaMask users.
While the new routing feature offers benefits, there are also risks involved. As the largest player in the wallet market, MetaMask’s adoption of this new technology could set a precedent for other wallet builders. The design of the feature is likely to face scrutiny as it becomes more widely understood.
In conclusion, MetaMask’s testing of a transaction routing feature based on intents represents a significant development in how value flows through the Ethereum network. By providing users with optimal execution and an improved user experience, this technology has the potential to reshape how people interact with blockchains. However, as with any new technology, there are risks that need to be carefully considered.