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April 19, 2022

Web3 Without MetaMask – Web3 Authentication Alternatives

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Web3 authentication is an integral part of the Web3 experiences. By authenticating your crypto address, you get to enter the blockchain realm. Since most Web3 apps require a user to authenticate with MetaMask, odds are you’ve utilized that popular Web3 wallet as well. Although MetaMask is one of the most used wallets to access dapps, in some cases, it might not be the best alternative for new users who are unfamiliar with Web3. Therefore, we’ve decided to explore Web3 without MetaMask. Herein, we’ll present you with options for Web3 authentication that doesn’t rely on MetaMask. As a user, you may not have control over the authentication methods. However, if you want to become a blockchain developer, you need to explore all Web3 authentication alternatives that can be implemented into your applications. You’ll see that Web3 without MetaMask can perhaps be an even more user-friendly alternative.

This article will examine three reliable and reputable Web3 authentication alternatives. Hence, you’ll learn what the current Web3 tech stack has to offer. Moreover, we will devote extra attention to two particular Web3 login methods. These methods have the power to help you boost Web3 user onboarding success rates. How? They let you easily implement login methods that Web2 users are familiar with. With “what is Web2 and Web3?” in mind, you can use the best of both worlds. You get to exploit the fact that average Joes and Janes are familiar with social and email login. Furthermore, you’ll see that with the right tools on your side, implementing these particular Web3 authentication alternatives is quite simple. The tool that makes the implementation seamless is Moralis, a.k.a. “Firebase for crypto”. As such, create your free Moralis account now!   

What is MetaMask?

At this point, you know that there’s much more to Web3 authentication than just MetaMask. However, it is also no secret that MetaMask has become largely synonymous with Web3 authentication. Therefore, we cannot address the “Web3 without MetaMask” subject without ensuring that we all know what MetaMask is. As touched on briefly earlier, MetaMask is the most popular hot crypto wallet. Also, it is arguably the most well-known authentication method for dapps. As such, MetaMask for developers opens several possibilities. For example, building dapps with MetaMask and Moralis is as easy as pie. 

ConsenSys developed MetaMask back in 2016 to interact with the Ethereum chain. However, since then, many reputable EVM-compatible blockchains have come to life. As such, MetaMask made it simple to add other chains. For example, you can use MetaMask to effortlessly create a BNB wallet or a multi-chain wallet. Although, by default, MetaMask still serves as an ETH wallet

To use MetaMask, you need to download it either in the form of a mobile app or browser extension. This step alone is not at all complicated for tech-savvy folks. However, it can be challenging for newcomers to the crypto realm. Thus, you should learn about Web3 authentication alternatives. While there are many valid options, especially among crypto wallets, we want to focus on three specific tools. The tools for Web3 without MetaMask are:

  • Magic
  • WalletConnect 
  • Web3Auth

Web3 Without MetaMask – Consider These Web3 Authentication Alternatives

Each of the above-listed MetaMask alternatives makes Web3 without MetaMask a reality. Of course, each has its own specific use case and advantages and disadvantages. We will use the following sections to do a quick overview of each of these three Web3 authentication tools. However, our example projects will revolve around Web3Auth and Magic.

What is Magic?

Magic, or Magic Link, was developed by Magic Labs and is one of the most reputable ways to offer passwordless Web3 onboarding. It offers a practical SDK that you may use for authentication, wallet creation, and key management. With Magic, you get to onboard users that are new to the blockchain world with just an email address, a social account, or a phone number. This “Web3 without MetaMask” alternative creates Web3 wallets behind the scenes. That way, users who have no clue about crypto wallets can interact with various dapps. 

Magic is natively compatible with several of the fastest-growing blockchains. In addition, it includes non-custodial key management. Furthermore, you get to bootstrap your project using a CLI tool that generates a custom, fully working application with Magic auth. This Web3 auth solution also prides itself on robust security and infrastructure. It enables you to protect users with patented non-custodial key management. 

Also, Magic claims it guarantees 99.99% uptime, so you can ensure users from around the globe that they can access your apps without any hurdles. According to their official website, malicious login attacks are blocked and prevented automatically. They achieve the latter by monitoring usage patterns. Nonetheless, by undergoing regular third-party security tests, Magic is CCPA, SOC 2, and GDPR compliant. In addition, HIPAA and ISO27001 compliances are in the pipeline. 

Moving forward with this excellent tool, we encourage you to learn how to effortlessly integrate it with Moralis. As such, you get to do Web3 authentication via email in minutes. 

What is WalletConnect?

Many people think that WalletConnect is an app or a crypto wallet. However, in fact, WalletConnect is an open-source protocol. The latter may be used to create a connection between a wide range of crypto wallets and dapps. Thanks to the protocol’s properties, the connection between applications, wallets, or devices using WalletConnect is safe. Essentially, connections established that way are symmetrically encrypted via a shared key between two peers.

WalletConnect works with more than 100 leading wallets. To see all supported wallets, visit WalletConnect’s official website, and scroll down to the “Any Wallet” section. 

There are two ways to establish the connection between wallets and dapps using this “Web3 without Metamask” authentication method. It can be done by scanning a QR code or by using a deep link. One peer (or dapp) sends out the code or link, and the other peer needs to scan or approve it. Hence, when WalletConnect is integrated into dapps, safe and reliable connections are easily established.  

Here are some additional WalletConnect features:

  • Chain Agnostic – WalletConnect is also aware that the future is likely to be multi-chain oriented. As such, this protocol already supports several chains. WalletConnect can be used with dapps on Ethereum, Solana, and many other chains. Their official website states that WalletConnect will continue to add support for more chains. 
  • Multi-Chain – WalletConncet supports multi-chain integration. It enables you to connect any of the supported wallets to multiple chains simultaneously.
  • Platform Agnostic – You can use WalletConnect’s protocol on the web, desktop, mobile, and gaming apps.

We recommend learning how to authenticate Android apps with Moralis and its WalletConnect integration. That way, you will see this powerful protocol in action.  

Web3 Without MetaMask – A Wide Range of Options

Now that you understand that WalletConnect is a protocol and not a crypto wallet, you can see that it is a powerful Web3 authentication tool. With WalletConnect, you can use many other wallets aside from MetaMask. As such, this gives “Web3 without MetaMask” a pretty broad spectrum of possibilities. Some of the most popular alternatives to MetaMask include Rainbow, Trust Wallet, and Argent (as shown in the image above).

What is Web3Auth?

In many ways, Web3Auth and Magic are quite similar. It also offers a neat way for users to enter the Web3 realm with familiar Web2 login methods. Moreover, Web3Auth offers several features that go beyond onboarding. These include:

  • Fiat-to-crypto APIs allow your customers to purchase and interact with the chain in question directly on your dapp.  
  • Eliminate seed phrases to reduce support tickets. The latter is one of the main causes of user key loss and, therefore, tends to flood your support with tickets. With Web3Auth, this can be easily avoided.
  • Non-custodial multi-factor authentication introduces users to a secure and decentralized way to protect their keys.
  • OAuth 2.0 compatible user login verification lets you verify a user on the backend via a single API. The latter is compatible with existing Web2 solutions.  

According to Web3Auth’s official website, this powerful tool can be integrated with any wallet, platform, chain, and even social login. It lets you plug in your existing authentication setup. For more details about Web3Auth and how it works, we encourage you to explore its docs. However, you’ll have a chance to see this phenomenal “Web3 without MetaMask” tool in action below. 

Passwordless Login for Web3 – Two Example Projects

We believe that Web3Auth and Magic both deserve some extra attention. Why? Because they are extremely powerful tools that make “Web3 without MetaMask” practical. As you’ve learned above, these two methods offer users the familiar Web2 login and signup methods. They are the key to efficiently onboarding users that know nothing about crypto. Thus, Web3Auth and Magic can also contribute to the mainstream adoption of blockchain tech and dapps. 

Web3Auth in Action

The best way to see this “Web3 without MetaMask” alternative is to take a look at a demo. Here’s our example dapp where we used Web3Auth to easily onboard users:

As you can see in the screenshot above, our dapp enables users to log in by clicking on “Login with Web3Auth”. By clicking the above, the login module appears:

On the left-hand side of the image above, you can see the login module and its three sections. These include the “continue with”, “email”, and “external wallet” sections. As such, users get to choose between using social login, their email address, or a crypto wallet. In the first section, there’s also the “View more options” button, which displays all supported social login options:

Web3 Social Login Using Web3Auth

Let’s take a closer look at the actual authentication process using the “Google” option. Of course, the same principles apply to other social login options. In that case, an example user needs to click on the Google icon:

Next, our hypothetical user needs to select a Google account:

Then, the user also has a chance to select two-factor authentication (2FA):

Note: When using Web3Auth, both devs and users get to use the 2FA feature for free.

Our example user decided to skip 2FA by clicking on “Maybe next time”. As such, the user is now logged in. The user also gets a crypto address that can be used for transactions:

The wallet address displayed above was created automatically and assigned to the Google account. Let’s do an example transaction to show you that this is a fully functional crypto address. For starters, we use another account. We go with the “external wallet” section of the Web3Auth module and sign in using MetaMask. Moreover, it is that account that will send some test ETH on Ropsten (one of the Ethereum testnets) to the above address:

For a detailed video demonstration of the above example dapp, use the following video starting at 0:53. This is also the video where a Moralis expert will show you how to create the above-presented dapp. In addition, the video will guide you through the process of creating your Web3Auth account and using it with the Moralis SDK.

Here’s our Web3Auth tutorial:

Magic in Action

Similar to our example project using Web3Auth, we created another example dapp utilizing Magic. This time we focused on offering users to do Web3 authentication via email. Here’s our example Web3 application preview:

Looking at the image above, you can see an entry field and a login button. As such, average users would intuitively know how to proceed. They’d enter their email address and click the “Login with Magic link” button. Next, they’d see the following pop-up window:

After reading the above message, users would check their email inbox. This is what a default email with our dapp’s login Magic link looks like:

To proceed, users must click on the link (login button) within their authentication email. Once the users click on the link, they are logged in:

If you want to create the above-presented dapp example using the Moralis SDK and Magic, watch the video below. Of course, this is also a pretty clean way to learn how to complete the initial Magic setup.  

Here’s our Magic tutorial:

Web3 Without MetaMask – Web3 Authentication Alternatives – Summary

We covered quite a lot of ground in this article. You’ve had a chance to learn what MetaMask is and explore “Web3 without MetaMask” options. As a result, you’ve learned what WalletConnect, Magic, and Web3Auth are and that they can serve as Web3 authentication alternatives. You also learned that WalletConnect is a protocol. It enables you to use a wide range of crypto wallets to authenticate web and mobile users. With Magic and Web3Auth, you can implement legacy login methods. Hence, you get to boost user onboarding. In addition, you had a chance to see Magic and Web3Auth in action and take on two example projects. By completing these projects, you had a chance to learn how to work with “Web3 without MetaMask” tools. This is also a great way to learn how to use the Moralis SDK to create dapps in minutes.

Aside from the above two example projects, you can find many other blockchain development tutorials on the Moralis blog and the Moralis YouTube channel. These are also the outlets to use for learning about various crypto topics. Some of the latest articles focus on Ethereum Name Service (ENS), how to claim an in-game NFT, Web3 contracts, Web3 game design, connecting a Web3 wallet to a Twitter account, how to connect a Web3 wallet to a website, NFT use cases, and much more. Moreover, you might want to go full-time crypto as soon as possible. If that’s the case, approaching your blockchain education more professionally is the path to take. As such, you ought to consider enrolling in Moralis Academy.

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