Decentralized finance (DeFi) is the fairest and most far-reaching economic revolution in digital history. Forget the invention of the internet, PayPal, or digital banking: only DeFi has the potential to raise the financial opportunities available to everyone on this planet, regardless of origin, race, or means.
But mere potential isn’t enough. For DeFi to realize its promise of ushering in a more democratic and transparent financial system, it needs to be available everywhere and used by as many people as possible. It’s fair to say we’re not there yet. Entering the blockchain world is still daunting for newcomers, with each misstep risking fatal loss of funds.
To bridge the gap between DeFi’s theoretical potential and working reality, its proponents have focused their efforts on mastering mobile onboarding. For the whole world to be able to participate, onboarding needs to be easy, mobile-oriented, and as simple as possible. Wallets such as Core, Xverse, and THORWallet are leading the quest to place DeFi tools in the hands of mobile users. Here’s how five of the best mobile wallets with integrated dapp browsers stack up.
User experience is important with all web3 wallets but it’s particularly important on mobile. A well designed mobile wallet abstracts complexity, placing the most important features front and center. Core, an EVM wallet that’s centered around Avalanche, does all that with aplomb. The excellent UI makes it a joy to use, aided by clever features such as seedless design that does away with the need to record a 12-word mnemonic when getting started.
But it’s the built-in dapp browser that transforms Core from being a passive wallet for saving into an active one for trading. And not just trading, but lending, yield farming, liquidity providing, and all the rest. Core wallet supports multiple chains such as Bitcoin, the Avalanche P-Chain, X-Chain, and C-Chain, plus other EVMs with more to come. You can access the best decentralized applications these networks have to offer with the aid of a dapp browser that looks as good as the wallet itself.
THORWallet takes a different approach to mobile dapp browsing. It’s less suited to beginners than Core, since there’s a lot going on under the hood. For experienced DeFi users, however, there’s also a lot to get stuck into. THORWallet aims to serve as an all-in-one bank for crypto and fiat, so much so that there’s a free Visa card available and complementary Swiss bank account. The built-in DEX, however, is where THORWallet truly shines.
Using THORWallet, you can trade cross-chain assets such as native BTC and native ETH, removing the need to rely on wrapped tokens. The iOS and Google Play mobile wallet provides native cross-chain interoperability, all delivered with no custodial risk. The only downside to THORWallet is that you’re constrained to operating within the Thorchain ecosystem. But with so much to trade, stake, and earn within it, it’s an ecosystem you can explore for days.
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If you thought DeFi was limited to EVM chains, think again. Many of the same DeFi primitives you can access on Ethereum for staking, lending, trading, and borrowing have been replicated on other chains from Solana to Bitcoin. Yes, even Bitcoin, the daddy of all blockchains, has evolved into a multi-token ecosystem thanks to the emergence of protocols such as Ordinals and BRC-20. All of which can be experienced on mobile thanks to Xverse.
There’s a lot you can do with Xverse, which integrates not only Bitcoin but also Stacks, the L2 that’s anchored to it. A well designed dapp browser provides access to Bitcoin-based dapps including Magic Eden for NFTs and Genii for portfolio tracking. With so much to see and do, Xverse is the only Bitcoin-based mobile wallet you’ll ever need.
If you’re a Cosmos fan, Keplr is the mobile wallet for you. The popular web wallet for IBC chains has recently launched v2 of its mobile wallet, adding better UI and new features. It provides a gateway to the interchain world and everything it has to offer, from Osmosis to Celestia and from Cosmos to Injective. Keplr is to Cosmos what Xverse is to Bitcoin: a great mobile wallet for those happy to exist outside of the EVM ecosystem.
The dapp browser that comes integrated with Keplr works well, freeing you to visit any protocol you like provided it will support Keplr wallet. Trade on DEXs such as Coinhall and stake your INJ or TIA using the integrated staking portal. Once you’ve tried Keplr, you’ll never use another mobile IBC wallet.
It may seem strange to end a mobile wallet review with MetaMask placed at the bottom of the list, given that it’s the most popular web3 wallet of all time. Great as MetaMask is, however, it’s slipped behind other web wallets such as Rabby. The mobile MetaMask wallet is a lot better, though, than most of the competition, particularly if you’re looking for an excellent dapp browser.
For navigating the EVM landscape, MetaMask Mobile will connect you to all the dapps that matter, whether that’s trading NFTs on OpenSea or memecoins on Uniswap. Its dapp browser is sorted into categories, making it easy to find the protocol that’s right for your needs before connecting with MetaMask. Great UX and clean design make MetaMask Mobile a great wallet.
Choose the Right Dapp Browser
When picking a mobile wallet with a built-in browser, there are two criteria to look for. The first one is obvious: the blockchain you’re wishing to use. All of the wallets reviewed here are excellent, but each is focused on a specific subset of crypto networks. The second thing to check is that the wallet comes with a dapp browser that will provide gated access or unlimited access. In other words, does it give you free rein to enter any URL or constrain you to a range of pre-vetted decentralized applications.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to this second condition: unlimited access provides greater freedom to roam but it also carries a higher risk of visiting a malicious site that could attempt to steal your crypto. If you know what you’re doing, browse the full spectrum of DeFi applications. Otherwise, pick a mobile wallet that screens the dapps it lists. This will allow you to get the most out of your onchain interactions while remaining within a secure framework.