In March 2022, Metamask Institutional (MMI) announced an integration with several qualified custodians and custody technology providers, including Gnosis Safe, a leading digital asset management platform on Ethereum. With this partnership, MMI expands its cryptocurrency custody offerings to integrate custody options for Web3-native organizations such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
Gnosis Safe is one of the most popular digital asset management platforms for DAOs, with over $90B worth of assets stored in self custody. Many DAOs, including Uniswap, Maker DAO, Aave, and Bit DAO use Gnosis Safe for their custody needs.
DAOs prefer Gnosis Safe for its multi-sig security feature, which provides them with additional security to deploy funds. Using this feature, DAOs can ensure that multiple stakeholders sign off on a transaction before funds are released.
Let’s take a deeper look into Gnosis’ multi-sig security, and why DAOs need it.
DAOs and their Unique Custody Needs
A DAO is a community-led organization that is designed to decentralize control. There is no central decision-making authority, and all important matters are decided on by all members of the DAO.
Individual DAO members create a proposal such as those related to functioning, treasury allocations, even the future of the DAO. All members of the DAO can then vote on these proposals using their governance tokens. When a pre-decided consensus is reached on a proposal, then it is accepted and enforced by the rules coded within a smart contract.
Since there is no central authority that is signing off on decisions, DAOs require multiple members to be signatories to their transactions. This is imperative to maintain the decentralization that is core to the structure of DAOs. This is where Gnosis Safe’s multi-sig feature is best suited for DAOs to manage their crypto transactions since it requires multiple members to confirm the transaction before it is executed. This adds an extra layer of security to the DAO treasury and prevents unauthorized use of DAO funds.
MMI and Gnosis Safe Give DAOs Unrivaled Access to DeFi
Currently, DAOs can use Gnosis Safe to manage their funds in two ways. First, they can transact directly with the Gnosis Safe wallet and their ecosystem of apps called Safe apps. Second, they can connect their wallet of choice with Gnosis Safe using WalletConnect. To do so, they have to scan a QR code to connect WalletConnect with the dapp they wish to use. This process is cumbersome, and also limits the DAOs access to the DeFi ecosystem to the dapps and protocols that WalletConnect supports.
With MMI’s partnership with Gnosis, DAOs have a third, more convenient way to connect with DeFi. This gives them unrivaled access to the DeFi ecosystem because MMI connects to over 17,000 dapps. MMI also allows DAOs to join MetaMask’s 20M monthly active users across the globe in accessing Web3. In addition, with MMI’s DeFi and Web3 portfolio dashboard, DAOs can get a holistic overview of their portfolio, its performance, individual assets, and historical transactions.
“Gnosis Safe is a foundational cornerstone of our ecosystem—an unmatched and trusted platform on which most DAOs rely to secure and manage their digital assets. This integration, therefore, brings together these two important elements
for organisations; unrivaled access and trusted security. We are, therefore, thrilled by this partnership and the further collaboration between Gnosis Safe and Consensys,” says Johann Bornman, Global Product Lead for MMI.
MMI and Decentralization
The partnership between MMI and Gnosis Safe also strengthens Consensys’ commitment towards Web3-native organizations, and towards Ethereum’s goal of decentralization.
A decentralized web is a cornerstone of Consensys’ product philosophy. For example, the company has been enabling wider participation in ecosystem governance through DAO creation and participation. There currently are three DAOs – Village DAO, Education DAO, and Sandbox DAO – that are powered by Consensys.
Furthermore, Consensys promotes decentralization through its products. Metamask is the first wallet to offer extensibility to users, with Metamask Flask. Flask is a proving ground for developers to roll out experimental features in Metamask. The first feature to be released through Flask was Snaps, which allows developers to expand the functionality of Metamask at runtime, without any involvement from us. Snaps is poised to accelerate the rate of innovation not just in Ethereum, but the entire Web3 ecosystem.
MMI and its Custody Offerings
MMI’s Gnosis integration comes as part of its expansion of custody solutions to cater to the needs of a wide range of organizations, across different geographies and with different tech stack requirements.
MMI has partnered with Hex Trust to expand its institutional-grade custody offerings into Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Its partnership with Parfin brings its custody features to banks, exchanges, family offices and hedge funds in Latin America. Meanwhile, MMI’s has also partnered with GK8 to bring general support for any Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible layer-1 networks as well as instant integrations with level-2 protocols.
The latest partnerships build on MMI’s previous integrations with BitGo, Qredo, and Cactus Custody.