Top cryptocurrency wallet provider Decentral has just released the beta of their latest wallet, Jaxx Liberty. Liberty takes the cryptocurrency wallet paradigm in a new direction by offering a number of what they call gamified features. These features all center around a new unique cryptocurrency called Unity or JXX. But is the new wallet all it’s hyped up to be?
First Impressions with Liberty
For the sake of our testing, we downloaded the latest beta version from the official Jaxx website for use on a Mac desktop or laptop. We chose this because typically Jaxx software has been exclusively designed with the mobile experience in mind. We wanted to see if the latest version was any more desktop friendly or not.
The first thing we noticed about Liberty before we even got started was the huge size of the program. The download stands at a whopping 370 MB, which is orders of magnitude larger than other competing multi-asset wallets like Exodus. Once installed, the wallet nearly triples in size and consumes 765 MB of space.
It’s difficult to say exactly why the installation is so large, given that its primary function is just to store and track cryptographic keys which are just a handful of numbers and letters. It’s possible that the beta contains a number of features that haven’t been activated yet. Regardless, it’s a big download and an even bigger install.
Still Made for Mobile
Once we got the software running, it was clear from the get-go that Jaxx liberty is still an extremely mobile-centric application. This in and of itself is not a problem, but for those looking for a true desktop experience, you may find Liberty to be lacking.
The entire experience takes place in a mobile phone shaped window that cannot be adjusted or resized. This is different from the standard Jaxx wallet which, while retaining many mobile phone design features, could still be expanded and was shaped for a desktop style screen. As more wallets shift towards mobile use, however, Liberty may find itself ahead of the game. Specifically, the previously mentioned Exodus wallet does not offer any sort of mobile experience whatsoever at this time.
The interface itself has been redesigned with a new color scheme shifting away from the previous dark gray and orange to a new dark blue and orange theme. Visually, the theme is attractive and the layout is quite intuitive. The main screen of the app also features a number of useful add-ons such as a universal block explorer search box for entering addresses and transaction hashes. Below that, one can find the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap price chart, which can be opened and then leads to a top 100 chart, and some recent CoinDesk articles.
As expected, ShapeShift integration is present and put in the spotlight early on in the app’s user experience.
The My Jaxx program
Instead of just being a wallet, the main features of Jaxx Liberty are its much touted gamified features. According to an earlier press release from the company, Jaxx Liberty will offer a number of programs which are behavior driven. In other words, completing various tasks or reaching certain goals within the program will net a user Unity tokens.
The use case for the tokens has not been explicitly specified, but it appears that it will be used as a type of loyalty currency or points. Various companies can partner with Jaxx and offer their goods and services directly within the Liberty app for exchange with Unity tokens. This, we would guess, would be a business model somewhat similar to Sweat Coin, a non-cryptocurrency app (despite its name) that allows its users to exchange in-app points for discounts or free samples on items provided by various partners.
Keeping in mind that this is beta software, we feel that at this point, the Jaxx Liberty beta is mostly a visual revamp of the original program. And while some of the upgrades like embedded news articles and price charts are handy, they don’t quite justify completely jumping ship from another wallet of choice.
Further, desktop users could find themselves alienated by the overly mobile-centric design and a lack of normal desktop wallets features. For instance, needing to click and drag with a mouse feels awkward, and a poor replacement for a finger swipe on a mobile device.
What we will need to see next is the effectiveness of the My Jaxx program, and whether or not it can offer a compelling use case for those considering switching over to the wallet.