Making the case for signup/login to TruSat with MetaMask

Hey everyone,

With TruSat there are two ways to signup/login:

  1. Email/Password/Secret combination
  2. MetaMask browser extension

After launch of TruSat I was tasked with better explaining the reason for the inclusion of a “secret” in option 1. You can read my attempt here if you’re interested. All of the team that is building TruSat (myself included) use option 2. I want this post to serve as a better explainer as to why.

Firstly, what is MetaMask?

MetaMask is a free browser extension that acts like a password manager (like LastPass), but instead of holding email/password combinations - it holds private/public key-pairs. Fun fact - the “secret” that is used in option 1 is in fact a private key that has been encrypted with the password you provided when you signed up! So… under the hood, the signup/login flow is essentially the exact same thing - only with MetaMask you don’t have to find your “secret” and password every time you login - it is stored conveniently in your browser.

Look how fast I can sign up with a new account, via MetaMask:

And when returning to TruSat, I can login with the same ease:

All that is happening here is that I am “signing a message” with my private key (when I click the button) to prove that I am the owner of my public key. Another fun fact - all of the users in TruSat are identified in this way.

In the interest of full transparency I want everyone to know that the company that funded the creation of TruSat (ConsenSys), also funded MetaMask. You can only take my word for it, but I can assure that we had full responsibility for the decision to use MetaMask. The fact is, we simply could not find a more tried, tested and user-friendly solution for identifying users via private/public cryptography. Option 1 was created by us to achieve the same result, but in a way that resembled more traditional experiences that everyone is used to.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that most of our users have opted for the email/password/secret route, I just wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of the other option. It’s just easier in my opinion. There are other more boring benefits of using MetaMask that that include improved security, but I wont bore you with the details. If anyone has any questions don’t be afraid to reply to this thread.

All the best,
John.

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