Ethereum will soon have Status, the first wallet for mobile devices with an interface reminiscent of WeChat.
The Alpha version of Status will be released in the next few weeks. This program will provide a new, contemporary interface for the Ethereum wallet.
With Status, users can start and control remote applications or DApps via instant messages from a mobile wallet.
First Step Alpha Version of cryptosoft
The Light Client, which will be available for Android and iOS, was inspired by the app WeChat. WeChat is less known in this country, but even before Facebook Chat it was a cryptosoft chat app that could do much more than simple messaging via bots. So you could also browse through your social media updates or initiate payment transactions with cryptosoft.
According to Carl Bennets, co-founder of Status, the idea was to create an interface that people without an affinity to blockchain would understand. This would build a bridge to the world of crypto technologies for those non-techies.
„With this goal in mind, we came up with a solution between a messenger and a browser. According to our vision, you can talk to decentralized applications like you would with friends“.
Ultimately, the Mist Wallet had a similar goal. This well-known Ethereum Wallet was sponsored by the Ethereum Foundation and wanted to make the operation of DApps similar to the user experience in a browser.
Status takes this a step further by adapting the interaction with distributed applications to instant messaging.
However, it should be stressed that there may be still a long way to go before the finished product is ready.
The alpha version will be a slimmed down version of the program, with the status to show what it’s up to. Target audiences are primarily developers – ultimately the same target audience as Ethereum.
An already interesting component is that users can encrypt their chats using Ethereum’s Whisper protocol.
According to Bennets, this is a necessary step away from the current client-server model used by most encrypted messaging apps. He emphasized that Status is one of the first apps to use Ethereum’s decentralized chat protocol.
In addition to the chat, there are other features available. Developers can already play around with the app.
For example, users can save their ether or send it locally – even if Bennets doesn’t recommend doing this with a larger amount of ether, as the function is still being tested. In addition, existing DApps should be able to be thinned, similar to the Mist browser.
The vision behind Status
The Mobile Wallet also shows a new focus of the developers: One wonders not only what users can do with the technology, but how they can use it.
Even though there are already a lot of wallets, even in the mobile sector, most interfaces are not exactly made for the Otto normal consumer.
A distant goal of Status is to be able to order a self-propelled car via an instant message and a transaction from Ether.
„Between a friend and a Dapp there should be no difference on the level of status“, so a presentation of the app on the Devcon.
When asked if it wouldn’t be dangerous to make Smart Contracts easier to use – after all, there have been some bugs and security issues with Ethereum – Bennet agreed.
The DAO exploit shows what can happen if developers use Ethereum as if it were already fully developed – which it is not yet. However, he is convinced that security will improve in Ethereum Smart Contracts.
„Security is being taken more and more seriously. Once we have a security standard that DApps submit to before they are made available to users, Ethereum will be a very good, secure and forward-looking system.“
Security is not one of the main development goals of Status in this respect – it is hoped that Ethereum will make changes itself. Despite the current problems of the Ethereum infrastructure, developers are working on innovative projects that improve the Ethereum ecosystem.
Comment by the author (Philipp Giese):
I think that a dung-capable mobile wallet is an important first step. For DApps and their control on mobile phones, the approach of doing this via an instant messaging-like service makes sense – apps like WeChat but also Quartz, Slack or Facebook Messenger show that this concept works. In this respect, I’m really excited about status. Whether it will be a „killer app“ can’t be said and is probably exaggerated, but status will definitely be the interaction with DApps