In the last year, Ethereum wallet and decentralized app browser MetaMask has introduced a mobile app, upgraded to a more privacy-centric version, and added token swaps to capitalize on the explosion of decentralized finance—the risky but oft-rewarding set of protocols that bypass centralized financial institutions.
Now it wants to add something else: institutional users.
Ethereum software firm ConsenSys, which provides funding for MetaMask (as well as for an editorially independent Decrypt), today announced its intention to launch an institutional-grade version of MetaMask. As it readies the final product, it’s introduced its first user, Curv, a digital asset custody firm that will test-drive it on its own systems.
The result will be a new product for the digital asset firm, which already services clients such as eToro: Curv DeFi.
In Curv’s view, DeFi use hasn’t yet transitioned from retail investors to institutional investors due to issues with dapp integrations, protocol support, and security.
Indeed, there’s over $14 billion worth of value currently locked in (mostly Ethereum-based) DeFi protocols for lending, derivatives, and the like. But a series of attacks on protocols such as Harvest Finance, Value DeFi, and Pickle Finance, has dented its appeal to companies responsible for managing others’ assets.
Curv Co-Founder and CEO Itay Malinger said in a press release, “We believe by combining our unique multi-party computation (MPC)-based security infrastructure with MetaMask we will be able to play a significant role in the institutional adoption of DeFi.”
As Curv proponent Stani Kulechov, the CEO of the Aave DeFi protocol, put it, “Curv’s iteration of DeFi will allow institutional customers to interact with all smart contracts, removing both operational inefficiencies and risks.”
Through an Early Adopter program, ConsenSys Codefi—a spoke of the incubator launched last year to jumpstart commercial DeFi adoption—will onboard additional partners.
“We are launching the Early Adopter program so that ConsenSys can create customer relationships with custodians and professional trading firms, and give them early influence in the product features and development roadmap,” ConsenSys spokesperson James Beck told Decrypt. “We can leverage the institutional reach of ConsenSys to drive adoption to MetaMask and DeFi applications.”
It’s pitching several important aspects to “trading firms and crypto custodians.” In addition to enterprise-grade security and risk management features, MetaMask also plans on integrating features for tax reporting and compliance—a trouble spot for firms concerned about the staking, swapping, and earning that comes along with managing assets on DeFi networks.
“Customers can swap tokens, borrow, lend, and invest in Ethereum applications with the same familiar user experience of MetaMask — yet with the operational, security, and reporting features necessary to run a professional DeFi trading desk,” the press release said.
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