[Request for Comment] SuperRare x WalletChat Product Integration

  • Author: Mgoes, CyberKevin, YoungCryptoWolf
  • Status: First Draft
  • Type: Product Integration
  • Implementer: WalletChat x SuperRare Labs
  • Created Date: 01/10/22

Summary

WalletChat is proposing a simple product integration with the SuperRare web app - to enable buyers, sellers, and artists to communicate with one another securely, using their existing wallets, inside the SuperRare platform.

Motivation

Buyers and sellers wish to communicate for different reasons - whether it is to conduct price negotiation more efficiently than by blind bidding, to discuss the artwork they are trading, or simply for social reasons. At present, they are either unable to do so at all, or they have to link their twitter and discord profiles, exposing themselves to a disjointed user experience and scams.

The benefits of allowing buyers and sellers to communicate right inside the marketplace using their wallets are obvious - better user experience, not taking users away from the platform (quite the opposite, increasing the time spent on the platform), higher engagement between the various participants, and a security guarantee.

Some other marketplaces have already implemented solutions to this end - Rarible has developed their own solution (which is however non-composable with the rest of the ecosystem), and LooksRare has integrated Blockscan Chat (which however is only a weak integration and takes users away from the website).

Furthermore, integrating messaging can enable potential buyers to communicate with artists - staging the potential to create powerful experiences where artists can provide pre-sale engagement to their audience, should they choose to.

We believe all of the above is closely aligned with the objectives of improving the user experience and raising community engagement discussed in other forum proposals, which should indirectly lead to higher sales volumes.

Specification

Over the past 6 months, WalletChat has developed a powerful set of tools around web3-native messaging - including one-on-one messaging, token-gated group messaging, and more. WalletChat is available as a web app, browser extension, and now also an easy-to-embed website widget.

The user flow is very simple - connect with your self-custodial (Metamask / WalletConnect) wallet. Sign a single message to prove your identity. Message any other wallet using their wallet address or ENS. The embeddable widget sits at the bottom corner of the website, kind of like the current Intercom integration, and expands into a messenger pane - preview below (click > to play).

220930 widget demo

A brief documentation and a live demo of this can be found HERE. Embedding the basic version of the widget into a website takes minutes. WalletChat is willing to provide this integration to SuperRare for free, along with unlimited free usage over the next 12 months, as one of its pilot partners. Doing extra customisations if requested is possible, and something we could discuss and scope together.

WalletChat is 100% open source and anybody can verify that it’s doing what is claims to be doing. It stores messages securely inside IFPS.

We were originally planning to propose this under the Dev grants program, but the details of the program have not been finalised and we have also decided not to ask for any funds to get the basic version of this going, therefore we are submitting the proposal here.

Benefits

By implementing wallet-to-wallet messaging, SuperRare will introduce social / communication functionality right inside its platform. This will lead to a higher engagement between buyers and sellers, and buyers and artists. It will replace some of the existing web2 tools people use for this, and trigger more interactions inside the SuperRare platform itself. All of this will contribute to a better positioning for SuperRare as a high-end platform that puts users first and delivers experiences that go above and beyond.

The establishment of a relationship between a buyer and an artist will significantly increase the chances of a work being sold and also increase the chances of a secondary sale by the same artist. This relationship building fits very well with the premium brand that Superrare wishes to embody.

Implementing this proposal and integrating with WalletChat will also be a step towards the decentralisation of product development that this proposal by the core team of SuperRare seeks to establish.

Drawbacks

No immediately obvious drawbacks and no cost incurred by SuperRare (unless significant customisations are required, subject to discussion). That said, an involvement of SuperRare Labs and their product team to establish the details of implementation is required.

Outcomes

  • Higher engagement inside the SuperRare platform between buyers, sellers, and artists
  • Establishing a direct relationship between a buyer and an artist
  • Replacement of some web2 tools with a more embedded, streamlined, and secure UX
  • More reasons and more time for users to spend inside the SuperRare platform
  • Making negotiation of sales easier, increasing the probability of a sale taking place

.A mock-up of the current version of the widget, with some possible customisation

10 Likes

I’ve added [Request for Comment] to the title and bumping it up to see if anybody has comments. Though all I’m seeing for now are :heart:s :laughing:

fantastic tool! love to see awesome ideas brought by awesome teams! 100% for it.

2 Likes

Having a means to communicate (buyer/seller/artist), in a platform-friendly manner (i.e. not through the etherscan interface), seems to be a beneficial feature, particularly in the case where one or more parties may not have a known social media presence (or are effectively unreachable through the same).

For the sake of safety and privacy, a person should have the ability to block wallets they specify, or opt-out altogether.

Questions I can see arising:

  • is the layer/functionality proposed to be implemented in a decentralized fashion? where do the messages exist? (on-chain? off-chain? etc.)
  • how is privacy preserved (end-to-end encryption?)
  • how will spam be mitigated? (if on-chain, this may solve itself to a degree through gas fees as an overhead)
1 Like

Excellent questions @sumofprimes !

  1. Messages are currently off-chain (the user experience would be terrible otherwise!) but stored in IPFS to achieve a degree of decentralisation.
  2. Yes, we have recently deployed effective end-to-end encryption leveraging our partner Lit Protocol, who have developed what’s probably become the industry-leading key provisioning infrastructure, in the space.
  3. Off-chain would partly solve it but as above, significantly hinder usability. We are enabling you to block users, as your typical messenger would. On top of that, you will soon be able to set up parameters guiding who can and who cannot message you, based on on-chain data. Say, ‘I only want to receive messages from people who have previously bought an artwork on SuperRare, for at least 1 ETH.’

I hope this helps! Obviously happy to get our CTO to explain this on a more in-depth level. And would love to answer any more questions, should you have them.

2 Likes

This is really interesting. Are the messages pinned? I’m curious if you think this would be a good use case for arweave, though of course that would require some (albeit minuscule) upfront cost per message. I could even see an advantage to messages not being pinned or not pinned forever, like disappearing messages on signal.

Something fairly lightweight here could be whitelisting based on token ownership. If {ERC-721 contract address} is owned by {counter party public key}, allow messages. I believe we currently verify artists in social channels like discord by issuing POAPs, and are looking at NTT solutions like https://otterspace.xyz for badging roles within the DAO. As solutions like otterspace, hat protocol, metropolis, etc. get built out using those role-based NFTs could allow for some really interesting setups for more decentralized intra- and inter-DAO communication

2 Likes

yo! i haven’t checked the team behind this, nor the exact proposal, but as reply to feedback request, i subscribe to the idea of having a communication channel inside the platform (ofc only at the condition it doesn’t affect performance). important is that the ability to either allow access to it or not (like DMs on twitter) is integrated

2 Likes

Hey Brennan,

Thanks for the thoughtful response! We currently use a dedicated Infura IPFS gateway which pins our IPFS data, but longer term we could also give the option to the user via their settings to let it be garbage collected per the IPFS standards. I think your idea that some data goes away eventually is mutually beneficial for the infrastructure and the user. Arweave is certainly an option, with the benefit of a pay up front model - however we don’t currently feel this is necessary for Direct Messages. For public chat forums, Arweave could be a great option to save pinning cost long term and cement that chat history forever along with the NFT collection. We also have used Ceramic as well which aims to be a bit more composable with data.

Spam filtering is certainly needed, and we have a few protocols in use which support these conditions just as you mentioned. We support POAPs as well and the filtering can be fine-grained even down to wallet address, so we give the most flexibility to the user. If a role-based NFT is easier for maintaining access to a chat, we support that. If a user or DAO would rather maintain a list of wallets which have access to a chat session, we can and have supported that as well.

I see the benefits of this integration, and from what you’ve presented I feel it would be beneficial. Good idea!

2 Likes

Hey! I think having integrated direct messages between wallets is a really good idea. It’s simple yet very helpful when you can’t contact your collector via social media.

2 Likes

That is an interesting idea.
I think it could serve to boost a tighter connection between the artist and the collectors