Weekly Updates

Magic SDK and Seamless Passwordless Authentication Now on Tezos: Q&A with Magic CEO Sean Li

This week, Magic CEO Sean Li announced that they have launched a passwordless SDK, on Tezos, the firm’s first non-Ethereum Virtual Machine integration. We caught up with Sean to discuss Magic, the importance of passwordless authentication, and why he chose Tezos for Magic’s first non-EVM integration. Check out the Q&A below.

Tezos is the first non-Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) integration for Fortmatic/Magic. What led to the decision to branch out?

Going beyond Ethereum has been one of our main goals since the inception of Fortmatic. There are vastly different use cases that can only be served by properties provided by specific blockchains. Honoring the ethos of decentralization in the blockchain industry, we believe that developers should have the optionality to choose different blockchains for different types of applications and businesses.

After spending over 2 years in the business of improving dApp usability, battle-testing, and perfecting our core Ethereum-based product, we now have a solid foundation to expand into other non-EVM compatible blockchains.

Why is passwordless authentication important? How has it helped developers build on Ethereum?

Properly managing user credentials, passwords, secrets, or sessions require a tremendous amount of resources. Poor passwords actually account for 81% of all security breaches, since over 59% of people reuse their passwords everywhere [Source]. This will cost companies up to $240 per record compromised [Source]. Passwords are also going to become obsolete in terms of security, since it’s very likely already compromised – try typing your email in HaveIBeenPwned.

In terms of Ethereum applications, passwordless authentication with Magic allows these applications to have a completely white-labeled experience where developers have full control over their user onboarding without having to rely on a mandatory wallet UI (e.g. for transaction confirmation). This has been incredibly useful in helping developers build relationships directly with their own end-users, instead of forwarding them to wallet providers and abstracting away all the complexities related to blockchain from end-users. Some notable integrations with Magic: Zora, TokenSets, and Cent.

Now that you have launched Magic – where do you see the product going in the next 2 years?

We will be adding support for more blockchains as well as platforms like iOS, Android, and Unity. We have plans to also expand on the list of authentication methods Magic supports on top of our default magic link experience, such as WebAuthn or hardware keys like YubiKey and mobile authenticator support. We’ll also be massively expanding our reach into mainstream developer audiences beyond Web 3.0 and progressively familiarizing them with blockchain technology. 

What three things are you most excited to see built on Tezos?

  • Decentralized financial applications based on formally verified smart contracts
  • Services that are built on top of Tezos and decentralized identity
  • Enhanced smart contract wallets (like Gnosis), as well as transaction fee abstractions

Additional Ecosystem Updates:

We are nearing the completion of our latest round of ecosystem grants. All applicants have been informed of final decisions on their grant proposals and we will announce all grants in this cohort once agreements are finalized.


When will TF stop baking?

We do not currently have plans to shut down Foundation baking operations but this is a question that regularly comes up in Foundation deliberations, and is consistently being evaluated. The Foundation’s purpose is to support the Tezos ecosystem, and all baking rewards that the Foundation receives will eventually be used to further support the advancement of the Tezos project.

What plans are in the pipeline to increase adoption of Tezos where demand for Tezos tokens (tez) actually goes up? Running other tokens on the platform does little to add value to tez holders, fundraiser backers.

The Tezos Foundation’s mission is to foster the development of the Tezos ecosystem and adoption of the Tezos protocol, irrespective of whether this increases the demand of tez (which is not a target of the Foundation). We are focused on promoting the long-term success of the Tezos project.

Why is TF spending so much money going after the legacy financial market instead of investing in the crypto financial market?

Tezos is uniquely positioned to be the blockchain of choice for financial applications. These applications are currently taking place in both the legacy financial markets and in the burgeoning world of decentralized finance. We are in no way prioritizing one over the other – we care equally about projects like tzBTC, wrapped Bitcoin, and REITbz – a real estate backed digital security issued by Latin America’s largest investment bank. We will continue to promote Tezos as the blockchain of choice both for legacy financial applications and decentralized financial applications. For further information about this topic, please see our response to the question, “Do you see Tezos as just an STO platform?”, in our 10 April 2020 weekly update.

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