OCLUB AMA RECAP: Orbiter X Argent X (22/02/2023)

Orbiter_Finance
8 min readFeb 24

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Not until the 3rd episode of OCLUB AMA, having we happily invited Argent X, the first browser-based wallet built on StarkNet, supported by Google Chrome and Firefox. Ismael, Argent X’s project lead talked about some exhilarating product updates and future roadmap.

Full Recording

Click to play our AMA recording on Spotify.

AMA TLDR

  1. Journey into the crypto world and the team behind. [02:40]

Ismael: From the very beginning of my crypto journey, I always thought it was very complicated for users to actually use it. So I start thinking or getting interested in wallet development now. Argent always, for me, is one of the projects that really understands the right approach to create wallets. And I also was pretty interested in how wallet development was gonna evolve over time. So I joined a team that was working on the EIP4337, it’s a standard for smart contract wallet. And after that, I went Starknet because the another main team also does a lot of stuff on Starknet. And then on the natural next step I guess, I joined the Argent X team to do product for the Argent X wallet which was back at the time, kind of like a research on an experimental project to mainly provide a tool for developers to experiment with Starknet. Back then the developers tried to interact with the network, they had to this for like a month. Argent was very interested in zk rollups for the scalability properties since Starknet was a Layer 2 that actually, or the only one at a time then actually implemented both of all these characteristics. We want to explore them. And that’s how Argent X was born, only as a research project to provide a tool for developers and explore what the Starknet ecosystem could provide. But then we quickly realized that there was a lot of enthusiasm behind the Starknet network. We start putting more resources into that. Now the team has grown quite a bit. So Argent as a company, we have two products, mobile wallet and Argent X. The mobile apps support right now Ethereum layer one, zkSync and Stakrnet. We also have the Argent X product, which is the the Starknet wallet. So the Argent X team is right now about ten people or more. It’s been growing steadily for the past 7 months. I joined the team about 7 or 8 months ago, and since then, we have 5 developers 2 are QA and automatic testing. Also we have our dedicated block chain team.

2. Product Upgrades Announcements: Argent X 2FA [10:33]

Ismael: We know we made a big announcement. We released four features. Argent guard with 2FA for Argent X was one of them. Then multisig coming to Argent X as well. At the web wallet which will talk more about later on. And also the fact that Starknet is coming to mobile. And we’re almost ready and we’ll be ready. Those are the four announcements that we did. And going back to or specifically to Argent X 2FA, the way it works is when you login to Argent X, you will see the option to toggle on Argent guard for each of the account. What it means is that, in practice you will have to enter your Email, a second factor of authentication. And once you authenticate it with Email, you add Argent as a guardian. Then you will have to do a transaction to add the Argent guardian to your account. After that, every transaction that goes through your account needs to be signed with your private key and also with Argent guardian. And that ensures that if someone steals your private key and enter into Argent X or use it to interact with your account, they will still need Argent signature to make a valid transaction. This is done in a non censoring way because the Argent guardian itself can’t really trigger any other transactions or other signing the ones that you already started. Also they can trigger their recovery mechanism in case you lose your your private key at some point. You can ask Argent to trigger that security or recovery mechanism that takes 7 days for security reasons. And then after 7 days, you will be able to set a new private key to your account and basically recover access to it. This is a really nice flow that we’ve had in mind for a long time and is something that already worked on Ethereum Layer one with our mobile wallet. But it’s now possible to do on Starknet thanks to account abstraction.

3. Product Upgrades Announcements: Multisig on Argent X [17:30]

Ismael: The way we build our multisig thanks to account abstraction natively on Starknet is a bit different from how multisig are usually done on a Ethereum Layer one. Because for Ethereum layer one, how multisig works is basically you have a contract that stores your assets and it holds transaction verification. But on top of that, basically in normal, if you’re in my accounts that have to come together to interact with that smart contract. And what that means in practice is that the gas is necessary to process the transaction from a multisig needs to be paid by one of the members of the multisig. The last one that submits the transaction is the one that pays the gas for that transaction. Thanks to account abstraction on Starktnet, what we can do is actually make the the actual multisig pay for its own gas. So that simplifies a lot the experience. And we actually had to do very little motifications to our existing smart contracts to make the whole thing work. Of course, we had to build a lot of infrastructure around it to make it seamless in the process of when one user signs a transaction to broadcast it to the other members of the multisig and ask them to sign it. But when it comes to onchain mechanism or architecture, it’s pretty straight forward and also with the benefit of having the account pay for its own gas, which is a very nice addition. Also, one very important thing is that since account abstraction is natively integrated on Starknet and all the dapps actually are prepared for accounts being smart contracts, it means that the multisig that Argent X is going to release, will be completely compatible with any other dapps. Whereas on Ethereum layer one, there was always some compatibility issues with, for example, not being able to do certain actions with certain dapps, because of the fact that the network is not really natively supporting smart contract wallets.

4. What specifically make Argent X stands out among other browser based wallet competitors? [24:07]

Ismael: We offer a really nice features for developers to develop on the Starknet network. For example, we have very nice integration with the localhost network. So if you’re running a test network locally in your computer, you connected to other Argent X, you’ll see that your accounts are deployed directly, you have funds on those accounts right away. Basically, everything is ready for you to start developing. And also we have these flows or these developer settings for a deploying contracts and declaring contracts on Starknet, which is something that’s a bit of a painful flow. But with the Argent X that focuses on the developer experience, we make that pretty seamless. And then if you ask us for how do we compare to other wallets in the ecosystem. I guess the only one is Braavos account. We’re actually pretty good friends with them and we collaborate together on some initiatives in the ecosystem because at the end of the day, we are at the such an early stage in the ecosystem and the best way to succeed is to help each other out and keep growing the pie. The main difference between us is that Argent X has a very nice set of developer features. And also, I’d say, in general, we bring that expertise of more than for almost 5 years building smart contract wallets and the experiences that we build are based on the experience of what we worked in the past, and what we’ve seen that doesn’t work with actual users and then we’ll use it. That kind of the guardian experience, all of that is based on our experience on Ethereum Layer 1. So that’s why we build our security models the way we do. We also have a very strong Argent guardian infrastructure that helps out the experience quite a bit, whereas other ones might want to do everything on chain.

5. New functions walk through: swap functionality, UX overhaul of the whole UI, etc. [34:38]

Ismael: We’ve been doing quite a lot UX overhaul on Argent X in general, mainly to align it more with our mobile app and also have more of Argent deal to it. And also, Argent X and web wallet share a lot of the codes. And for us, it was very important for both of them to make them still feel Argent and do also an overhaul of certain UI flaws that might have been there from the beginning. So now that we’ve seen a lot of new users coming to the space and maybe some of those users are not that experienced or not that technical. We saw that it was quite important for us to revise that UX on Argent X. And that’s been happening for the past few months gradually. And now you can see that that Argent X looks and feels way more polished these days than 3 or 4 months ago. And also one of the big features that we launched recently was the native swap. There’s something that was highly requested from our users for a long time. The thing is since Starknet is quite a young ecosystem, we didn’t have many options to include native self functionality because we didn’t really wanna build it ourselves. Once we saw the community was building their product and how how excited they were about it and how engaged they were. We were pretty certain that was gonna be a successful project. And actually one of our developers was a core contributor to a swap project. We knew the team, we trust them, we we knew that it was gonna be quite successful, and that’s why we ended up integrating them.

About Argent X

The first browser-based wallet built on StarkNet.

Website | Twitter | Discord

About Orbiter Finance

Orbiter Finance is a decentralised cross-rollup bridge for transferring the Ethereum native assets, which is the infrastructure of Layer 2, we offer low cost and almost instant transfers.

Website | Twitter | Discord | Spotify

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Orbiter_Finance

Orbiter Finance is a decentralized cross-rollup Layer 2 bridge with a contract only on the destination side.