Coinbase Wallet has a new Chrome browser extension that will be competing directly with MetaMask, DeFi’s long-standing go-to browser wallet.
Coinbase Wallet, which had previously only been available on mobile devices, is Coinbase’s non-custodial Web3 Wallet geared towards DeFi users (not to be confused with the Coinbase app, which provides a consumer wallet built into their centralized exchange platform).
Now, just like MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet will be available for Chrome users on desktop, too. And similar to other Web3 wallets, Coinbase Wallet has no KYC requirements.
Coinbase Wallet’s browser extension directly syncs with pre-existing Coinbase Wallet mobile accounts, and can also be linked to a standard Coinbase platform account, allowing users to buy and transfer crypto directly from their browser wallet.
While linking a non-custodial wallet to a centralized Coinbase account may be unappealing to some DeFi users, the ease of access will likely be a major incentive for some portion of Coinbase’s 56M verified users to test out the larger DeFi ecosystem.
Coinbase vs MetaMask
While MetaMask has first-mover advantage, Coinbase will surely be stiff competition because of the brand’s recognizability, especially with casual crypto holders.
While more recent Coinbase Wallet mobile user numbers aren’t readily available, the exchange reported in their February 2021 SEC filing that Coinbase Wallet had over 2M users at the end of December 2020. Coinbase also noted in the announcement of the browser extension that more than 1M Coinbase Wallet users regularly utilize decentralized apps like Uniswap and Compound.
In an April 27 blog post, MetaMask said that its cumulative monthly active user base across both its browser extension and mobile app had grown 400% in six months, from 1M users in October 2020 to 5M in April 2021.
MetaMask reached 2M cumulative monthly active users in January 2021. So while the metrics are not directly comparable ̶ it’s unclear how many Coinbase Wallet users are active and how much the user base has grown throughout 2021 ̶ it appears Coinbase had around the same amount of users as MetaMask around the same timeline. But Coinbase only had the mobile app and MetaMask had both the mobile app and browser extension.