Introducing the Delegation Toolkit: MetaMask Smart Contract Account Offering

The MetaMask Delegation Toolkit is designed to help developers build UX-friendly, feature-rich experiences into their dapps, eliminating common UX issues in web3 for users.

by Kingsley OkonkwoJuly 9, 2024
Introducing the Delegation Toolkit: MetaMask Smart Contract Account Offering Image

MetaMask has been at the forefront of innovation since the dawn of Ethereum, pioneering web3 wallet industry standards and seeking new ways for dapps and protocols to build new experiences and improve web3 UX to onboard the next generation of adopters.

Today, web3 is considered too complex for the average internet user. There are too many steps a developer must consider for their users before launching a dapp or a protocol. For example, users must first download a browser extension or mobile wallet, generate a wallet address, and write down seed phrases before connecting to a dapp. Additionally, to make a simple transaction such as buying a token, users must confirm pop-ups for every interaction, figure out how to pay for gas fees, and ensure they’re signing the correct transaction. This user experience is simply not streamlined enough for the average person.

Now, imagine abstracting all this friction and complexity away and enabling users to get started to use dapps with only a few clicks and no installations. This is exactly what the MetaMask Delegation Toolkit enables.

Introducing the MetaMask Delegation Toolkit

Today, the team is excited to announce the gated alpha launch of the MetaMask Delegation Toolkit, our smart contract account offering powered by the Delegation Framework. Built upon years of research within MetaMask, the Delegation Toolkit offers an innovative approach to building embedded wallet experiences directly into your dapp.

The toolkit leverages the power of delegations to empower dapps and protocols to offer more user-friendly experiences in web3 through permission settings and capability sharing. The MetaMask Delegation Toolkit is currently available on any EVM chain supported by a User Operation Bundler, including Arbitrum, Avalanche, Base, Linea, Optimism, and Polygon.

Unique features of the MetaMask Delegation Toolkit

The Delegation Toolkit stands out from existing smart wallet offerings because of our permissions-first, consent-based communication approach between dapps and wallets, enabled by the Delegation Framework. The Delegation Framework, unique to the Delegation Toolkit, is a set of comprehensively audited, open source and extensible smart contracts that collectively manage the delegation lifecycle, from delegator account creation to caveat enforcement, delegation storage, and redemption.

Delegation, in this context, refers to the ability of an account owner (the delegator) to grant permission to another smart contract account or externally owned account (the delegate) to perform specific actions on the delegator's behalf. The delegator can apply rules and restrictions, also known as caveats, to delegations, describing what actions the delegate can perform and to what extent. For example, Alice delegates the ability to spend her USDC to Bob, limiting the amount of spendable USDC to 100. Bob can also redelegate permissions that have been delegated to him, creating a chain of delegations across trusted parties.

This approach emphasizes permissions over confirmations, allowing users to craft customizable and modular permissions that enable dapps to streamline routine web3 operations like signing confirmations or reducing the number of dapp to wallet switches with an entirely embedded web3 experience. These permissions can also be used by dapps to carry out operations on the user’s behalf, even when the user is not connected to the dapp.

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How the Delegation Toolkit improves common web3 activities

MetaMask Delegation Toolkit allows developers to build seamless, elegant web3 experiences and create innovative use cases never seen before. Here are some ways it improves common day-to-day web3 activities for users and developers:

  1. Simplified onboarding process: The Delegation Toolkit allows developers to build a user flow that bypasses the typical web3 wallet connection flow, meaning no extension wallet or mobile app is required. Users will not have to worry about seed phrases or confirmation screens when they get started out in web3. Dapps can now offer flexible authentication methods such as passkeys, EOA signers, social logins, and email logins to quickly onboard users according to their security preferences.
  2. Unlock new web3 experiences: The Delegation Toolkit enables new capabilities previously unattainable in web3 by enabling large-scale peer-to-peer social coordination with incentive structures that do not require users to connect their accounts to your dapp. This open-sourced, modular, and backward-compatible toolkit allows you to customize and enhance your dapp for viral growth, enabling new user experiences such as recurring subscription payments.
  3. Minimal in-dapp user interruptions: The Delegation Toolkit allows developers to eliminate repetitive confirmations, pop-ups, and dapp-to-wallet switches. Developers can now abstract away gas fees for their users by covering the cost or assigning them to a third party while automating precisely how many clicks users take.
  4. Build for the largest and most active web3 user base: With MetaMask’s millions of monthly active users, you can onboard new users to your dapp with minimal friction while continuing to create user-friendly and feature-rich experiences.
  5. Simplify your smart contract development process: Eliminate the need for custom delegation code in your contract. Let our flexible and general-purpose framework handle the complexities, allowing you to focus on your dapp's core logic and achieve up to a 95% reduction in smart contract code.

Sign up for the preview

The MetaMask Delegation Toolkit is still in gated alpha, so access is limited. If you’re a dapp or protocol developer that could benefit from the Delegation Toolkit and are interested in our preview, please sign up here, and we will contact you.

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