Cardano wallet standard, do we need one?

My short answer, Yes, we need a standard for Cardano wallets.

Or at least we need a minimum standard!
This would make it easier for users to access all of the services available on the Cardano ecosystem regardless of what wallet they decide to use, and it would also make it easier for developers to build new services.

Current state of Cardano wallets

There are currently many different Cardano wallets available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some wallets are more focused on security, while others are more focused on ease of use. Some wallets are only compatible with certain services, while others are compatible with a wider range of services.

This lack of standardization can be confusing for users. It can be difficult to know which wallet to choose, and it can also be difficult to figure out which wallets are compatible with which services.

This image shows the problem I talk about.
Five random Cardano wallets and five random Cardano services. Green means it is compatible, red means it it not.
In my mind there are way too many red squares.

What should a minimum standard include?
I believe that a minimum standard for Cardano wallets should include the following:
Access to governance functions
A minimum security feature
Support for all Cardano tokens and NFTs
Support for DApps

Staking is a tricky one. On the one hand, it is an important part of the Cardano ecosystem. On the other hand, several wallet providers rely on staking to fund their wallet development. This means that limiting staking to their pool is beneficial for them.

I am not going to claim whether or not limiting staking to their pool is a good or bad business practice. It is certainly understandable that wallet providers want to generate revenue. However, it would be better for users if they had more choice in terms of staking pools.

I believe that the decision of what to include in a minimum standard for Cardano wallets should be made by the Cardano community. This is because the community is made up of the people who are using the Cardano ecosystem and who are therefore most affected by any changes.

Just some rambling and late night thoughts that I think could be fun to discuss.

For the services that are dApps, we already have a standard – CIP 30 It was a decision of a lot of, maybe most dApps to restrict the choice of wallet apps to the ones they have tested (and maybe had to do adjustments for if they relied too much on specific interpretations of CIP 30).

Beyond CIP-0030 itself there are lots of other proposed standards which will affect features available in wallets:"Category%3A+Wallets"

Authors & editors can always use some help reviewing & advocating for these standards… to work towards wider adoption i.e. across a larger & more dependable set of wallets. :nerd_face: