BARCELONA, SPAIN – Avalanche announced it will launch its own wallet application, called Core, and add Bitcoin bridging functionality, two initiatives aimed at simplifying the user experience and bringing more assets into the Avalanche ecosystem.
Ava Labs Head of Product Nick Mussallem made the announcement on Tuesday at the Avalanche Summit in Barcelona, Spain, to the applause of conference attendees.
Ava Labs is the team supporting the development of the Avalanche blockchain.
“Core is not just a wallet. It’s a curated Web3 operating system that combines secure wallet architecture with technology not found in any other wallet,” said Mussallem in a statement. It comes shortly after ConsenSys – the parent company of wallet incumbent MetaMask (through which many users interact with Ethereum and EVM-compatible chains like Avalanche) – snagged a $7 billion valuation in its latest funding round.
The Core wallet will incorporate native Avalanche bridging functionality, which enables users of the wallet to directly interact with decentralized applications (dapps) on the Avalanche blockchain. Previously, users of MetaMask had to use an Ethereum-Avalanche bridge in order to move their assets onto the Avalanche blockchain.
Bridges are applications that help users move assets from one blockchain to another, a process that is often complicated and prone to hacks.
As decentralized finance (DeFi) usage has grown on Avalanche, the Avalanche Bridge has become the most popular Ethereum-connected bridge with over $6 billion in total valued locked (TVL). According to Avalanche, the bridge has facilitated the usage of over $43 billion in assets between Avalanche and Ethereum since its launch in July 2021.
The new wallet is also expected to cater to a growing number of Avalanche power users who are looking for an Avalanche-native user experience.
The first phase of the launch involves rolling out the Core browser extension in late March. The second phase will include launching the Core mobile application early in the second quarter.
Furthermore, Avalanche announced that the existing Avalanche Bridge will support Bitcoin in early Q2, onboarding the largest cryptocurrency by market cap into the Avalanche DeFi ecosystem.
Previously, users looking to move their bitcoin onto Avalanche would have to wrap the bitcoin using third-party wrapping services like WBTC or renBTC.
Avalanche project leads say they are looking to support a growing number of blockchains using bridging infrastructure.
AVAX, the native asset of the Avalanche blockchain, was flat at $86 over the past 24 hours. It’s up 25% on a seven-day basis.
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