This AI Chatbot Plugs Into Your Crypto Wallet

MarginFi's Omni chatbot is intended to merge two tech world "next big things."

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2023 at 1:24 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:12 a.m. UTC

The artificial intelligence overlords are coming for your coins.

Decentralized Finance lender marginFi on Tuesday debuted an experimental chatbot called Omni. It’s a custom build of OpenAI’s wildly popular ChatGPT with a twist: It can also interact with your wallet.

“The idea is to make crypto easier,” marginFi CEO Edgar Pavlovsky told CoinDesk in an interview. He says Omni can help users perform simple Web3 tasks, like spinning up a transaction to deposit and withdraw tokens to and from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols such as his.

MarginFi’s chatbot is an early example of two buzzy corners of the tech sector merging. Though it's not the first instance of crypto boosters building on ChatGPT, Omni’s ability to plug right into one’s wallet and become what is essentially a text-based user interface is unique.

To start, Omni's crypto functionality can interact only with marginFi. It’s not yet able to generate transactions between wallets. Pavlovsky said he’s in talks with other Solana teams, including Drift and Backpack, about utilizing Omni on their respective protocols. He wants the tool to become a virtual assistant for navigating Web3.

Omni is trained on reams of Solana-specific information, like protocol documentation and blog posts, in order to better address questions pertaining only to crypto. It pulls token price data from oracle service Pyth.

It generally refuses to answer queries outside the bounds of cryptocurrency and sometimes employs a Scottish twang to ward freewheeling questioners away.

The tech, which Pavlovsky emphasized is experimental, is far from perfect. A reporter who tested Omni on Monday found it has a strong tendency to “hallucinate,” the industry term for chatbots’ tendency to confidently present fake (sometimes absurd) assertions as fact. Omni’s hallucinations often mush crypto lingo into the mix.

Omni’s wallet access also sometimes falters. It can get confused by complicated prompts and doesn’t always interpret commands in the way askers intend. Still, all transactions need user approval before execution, meaning Omni won’t just drain your wallet.

“Ideally Omni is max hands-on” in helping users utilize their crypto wallets, Pavlovsky said. “The question is how safe is it?” He’s working to strike the right balance.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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