The Optimist -  Onboarding the Masses w/ Coinbase Wallet - Revelo Intel

The Optimist –  Onboarding the Masses w/ Coinbase Wallet

In The Optimist’s Twitter Spaces which took place on March 15, 2024, Charlie hosted Claudia from Coinbase to discuss Coinbase Wallet, Coinbase, crypto’s potential with user-friendly innovations, social connections, and more! Read our notes below to learn more.


Charlie (Host) –  Co-Leader at The Optimist

Claudia (Guest) – Product and Growth Lead at Coinbase Wallet

Coinbase Wallet – The easiest and most secure crypto wallet and dapp browser

Enhancing Crypto Adoption: From Coinbase Wallet Innovations to Everyday Crypto Payments

  • Claudia shares her background, including her tenure at Coinbase Wallet, her previous role at Facebook, and her interests in DeFi products and user acquisition efforts, such as Base Hunt and IRL activations. She mentions her hobbies outside of crypto, highlighting baking and traveling, especially exploring food options in New York.
  • Claudia discusses the challenges of onboarding users to crypto, highlighting the need to convey the value of crypto and the importance of a self-custody wallet alongside the Coinbase app.
  • She highlights efforts to simplify crypto usage, such as leading with clear value propositions like free NFTs and access to staking, and addressing the confusion around gas fees by promoting L2 solutions and introducing gasless transactions.
  • Charlie notes the importance of leading with familiar aspects like NFTs to attract newcomers to crypto and stresses the underappreciated role of wallets in user experience (UX) and ease of use in the DeFi space.
  • Claudia highlights the engineering efforts behind maintaining wallet foundations, the importance of reliability and safety, and the potential for wallets to include social features and notifications once foundational aspects are solidified.
  • Charlie mentions appreciating Coinbase’s vertical integration, covering every step of a user’s journey from the exchange to the wallet and onto the Base, highlighting the power of having a familiar brand guide users through the process.
  • Claudia agrees that brand familiarity is crucial in the confusing crypto landscape, where trust in a single brand can be simplified using an exchange, a self-custody wallet, or a blockchain, enhancing users’ confidence.
  • Charlie asks when crypto payments will be possible to use crypto for everyday purchases, like buying a cup of coffee, and about Coinbase Wallet’s efforts in this area.
  • Claudia highlights that payments are a key focus for Coinbase Wallet, mentioning the launch of gasless sends for $USDC and a feature allowing users to send crypto via text, which abstracts gas fees and increases usability across messaging apps.
  • Claudia shares examples of real-life uses, like the Base Cafe in Paris where customers could order and pay for coffee or croissants with $USDC through Coinbase wallet messaging, illustrating the practical utility and ease of using crypto for everyday transactions.
  • Charlie reacts positively to the affordability and innovation of using crypto for payments, expressing surprise at the low cost of coffee offered during the Base Cafe event.
  • Claudia says that recipients of $USDC sent via link need to download Coinbase Wallet to claim their funds, connecting the ease of sending crypto with the necessity of engaging with Coinbase’s ecosystem.

International Expansion, Interactive Challenges, and User-Friendly Wallet Innovations

  • Charlie expresses admiration for the ease and cost-efficiency of sending money internationally, 
  • particularly appealing to his French acquaintances in Canada. He asks about the future of payments and any forthcoming projects or ideas.
  • Claudia highlights the continuation of real-life activations (IRL)  to introduce crypto to those outside the community, citing examples like conferences and NBA games. She mentions Coinbase’s ambition to expand internationally, highlighting the potential of payments in cross-border remittances.
  • Claudia describes Base Hunt as an on-chain challenge organized by the base and Coinbase wallet teams, incorporating both online and IRL components to engage participants in various activities like minting and trivia. 
  • She shares the success and competitive spirit of the event, especially highlighting the unexpected victory of Base God, a last-minute addition as a guild leader. Claudia reflects on the importance of narrative and community engagement in making Base Hunt a memorable experience.
  • Charlie expresses admiration for the engaging nature of game-like activities at crypto conferences and the benefits of meeting people in real life. He mentions feeling FOMO and the importance of such experiences for invigorating interest in crypto. He asks about the next Base Hunt event to prepare himself. Claudia confirms that there will be another Base Hunt event this year.
  • Charlie shares his excitement about Coinbase Wallet’s Smart Wallet, highlighting features like account abstraction and using exchange balances for on-chain transactions. He considers these developments extremely promising for simplifying user experiences.
  • Claudia shares the enthusiasm for the Smart Wallet, highlighting its potential to simplify onboarding for new users by eliminating the need for app downloads or memorizing seed phrases. She highlights the importance of such features for events and encourages feedback on Farcaster.
  • Charlie praises the move towards using familiar web2 elements like Google Signup and two-factor authentication in crypto to ease the user experience. He discusses the need to move away from the notion of paying tuition in DeFi, which often involves users getting scammed as a rite of passage.
  • Claudia agrees, acknowledging the challenges users face in understanding transactions and the frequent issues that arise in crypto. She mentions ongoing improvements and protections against MEV as positive changes, expressing optimism for the future.

Coinbase’s Integration of On-Chain Products and the Future of Social Wallets

  • Charlie mentions that companies like Coinbase are working on abstracting complexities for better user experience. He asks about lessons from Facebook that helped at Coinbase and the transition from web2 to web3.
  • Claudia describes the transition to Coinbase as significant, especially in learning to build on-chain products. She notes similarities in the fast-paced cultures of both Facebook and Coinbase.
  • Claudia says that transitioning to crypto and understanding how to build on-chain products was a significant change but notes similarities in company cultures at Facebook and Coinbase, emphasizing their fast-paced and startup mentality.
  • She recalls her time at Facebook, where she worked on the news team, focusing on cultural moments like the Olympics and COVID information, which involved short-term activations.
  • Claudia mentions she has been working on similar projects recently, including Baseline, a temporary activation, and other activations related to Chain Summer and the Chinese Lunar New Year, highlighting her enjoyment in creating moments of delight for users.
  • A-cen asks about the potential social media applications within Coinbase wallet technology over the next five to ten years.
  • Claudia predicts wallets will become more social, mentioning Coinbase’s addition of messaging and user identifiers to enhance the payment experience. She expresses excitement for more robust social features, including potential integration with Farcaster for displaying posts within wallet UIs. Claudia expresses interest in a crypto version of Venmo, citing the inefficiencies of Venmo and the potential for crypto to offer a superior solution.
  • A-cen mentions the benefits of connecting a wallet to Farcaster, highlighting boosts and the potential significance of decentralized wallet IDs for political operations and replacing traditional identity verification methods.
  • Charlie shares a friend’s thesis idea about using blockchain for credential verification on social platforms, highlighting the potential for simplifying credential sharing and verification.
  • Claudia expresses enthusiasm for on-chain credentials and notes developments like California’s pilot for digital driver’s licenses, agreeing on the value of blockchain for verifying credentials.
  • Charlie expresses concern over the inconvenience of traditional document management, like passports, and looks forward to blockchain solutions that could simplify this process.

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Show Information

  • Medium: Twitter (Audio)
  • Show: The Optimist Twitter Space 
  • Show Title: Onboarding the Masses w/ Coinbase Wallet
  • Show Date: March 15, 2024