Not a WaaS or a Wallet

WaaS and wallets vs. Silk

TL; DR

The next sections are long, so here is a quick summary:

  • UI looks identical to WaaS but security is far stronger

  • Unlike WaaS, does not rely on a single, centralized web account

  • It's composable: one wallet can work anywhere, whereas WaaS wallets are specific to a dApp and can't be used elsewhere

  • Recovery...

  • It's free! Since it's permissionless, you don't have to pay a monthly subscription to a company to embed it in your dApp.

Onboarding vs. Security and Decentralization

A number of projects have taken impressive strides toward better wallet UX without browser extensions or app downloads. However, there are concerning security and decentralization issues in the current state of these onboarding-focused wallets. These issues have prevented Holonym Foundation and others from using sans-download wallets for DeFi and privacy.

Silk is not another WaaS -- it was built as the solution to WaaS. Silk wallets are instantly recoverable without any additional setup screens for social recovery or cloud backups, and without relying on a single centralized web account. Silk mitigates phishing, wallet drainers, clickjacking and even malware that not only WaaS but even browser extensions are vulnerable to.

Silk is a new category of wallet. With easy onboarding and without needing a download, it has the UI of a web account or WaaS. Yet it does not make the security, recovery, and centralization sacrifices inherent in current WaaSes. We believe that if threshold MPC and AA are done naïvely (as they typically are), it simply adds a decentralized attack vector on top of an already-centralized authentication method. However, if threshold cryptography networks and smart contract wallets are assembled in a certain architecture, they can add security and mitigate centralization.

But Even the UI is Better

Silk's UI is akin to WaaS but with one key improvement: Silk's UI is composable across dApps like a standard wallet, whereas WaaS are relegated to one dApp. Its security is akin to that of a multisig but with one key improvement: its UX makes it hard to misconfigure insecurely. Silk attempts to give the optimal UX and optimal security -- two features that are often held to be a tradeoff. We try to make our products with the lofty goal of seeing them as virtuous cycle:

Good security enables better UX through composability. Good UX makes secure behavior simple

SaaS vs. Permissionless DX

Silk is free / permissionless with a web3-native business model rather than SaaS fees. This makes Silk simpler for developers to integrate in a few lines of code (see Quickstart) without onboarding to a billing and dashboard system. And, in case it's not clear by the word "free," this also makes it substantially cheaper to use and scale with Silk than with a WaaS.

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