AlgoSigner, The MetaMask of the Algorand Blockchain, Features and Functionalities

Iam Chijamz
4 min readOct 22, 2020

The world of decentralized finance (DeFi) continues to evolve. With the development of newer decentralized applications (dApps) for use on the web, there has been the increased need by dApp users to be able to interact with these dApps without giving them direct access to their assets and without compromising the security of their assets.

Consequent upon this need, Algorand, through the Algorand foundation awarded development grants to PureStake, a team with extensive experience in building technology companies and developing complex software platforms.

This funding led to the development of AlgoSigner, a blockchain wallet that enables the easy use of Algorand-based applications on the web. It has been made available by PureStake in the chrome web store.

AlgoSigner could be used as an open-source browser plug-in, where it enables holders of the Algo token to securely interact with dApps without giving them control of their keys.

When in use as a browser extension, developers become able to build decentralized finance (DeFi) applications on Algorand. Because AlgoSigner provides a very secure way of adding transaction capabilities, developers are, therefore, able to start transactions and seamlessly accept Algos, while at the same time securing users’ secrets.

How It Works

To be able to function effectively, AlgoSigner injects a JavaScript library into web pages visited by the user. When the library is integrated in a dApp, it requests permission to connect to the wallet of the user. If the user approves the requests, the dApp becomes able to interact with the user’s wallet and the Algorand APIs through the extension on the browser.

Through the injection of this JavaScript library, dApps become able to: Request permission to connect to a user’s wallet; Send transactions to the user for approval without having to handle the user’s keys or account secrets; Process the approved transactions with it still unable to handle user’s keys and secrets, and; Transfer the signed transactions to the Algorand network.

Through the understanding of how AlgoSigner works, developers can build several web applications that can interact with the Algorand blockchain, with users of these web apps able to secure their keys within a browser extension that is trust minimized.

Features of AlgoSigner

Security: Algorand is a blockchain network committed to the security of its users. The introduction of AlgoSigner only further supports this commitment due to its unique security features.

Users can encrypt and securely store account secrets, authorize transactions without giving away their keys to be directly accessed by dApps, sign and approve transactions when using dApps on the web. Users are also able to approve payments for purchases carried out on dApps, send and receive funds on the web extension without compromising account security, and view Algorand token balances without having to use the app.

AlgoSigner guarantees that no secrets leave the web extension and that only the required signed transactions are provided; therefore, users can be confident of their account security while making use of AlgoSigner.

To further guarantee the security of AlgoSigner users, the web extension underwent a security audit by the NCC Group and any findings were addressed before its release.

Meanwhile, users are still advised not to share mnemonic passphrases, passwords or any other secrets directly with a dApp or with any other party.

Staking: Because AlgoSigner is a non-custodial wallet, users having Algos are eligible to participate in rewards on the network. Generally, anyone holding at least one Algo proportionally to their holding of Algos can earn rewards. Similarly, every address with one Algo or more in a non-custodial wallet like AlgoSigner is also eligible to earn rewards on the network. The distribution of the rewards is currently determined and funded by the Algorand Foundation.

DApp Developers: AlgoSigner allows for developers to natively build and send payment transaction within wallet UIs. It also makes it possible for these dApps developers to build complex transactions with the use of the Algorand JavaScript SDK and afterwards request the user to review and sign with a simple API call to the wallet.

This enables developers to use the APIs connected with the transactions and asset management as well as gain access to the Algorand indexer; thus, allowing for fast and efficient search of the ledger data on the blockchain.

These features are made available to application builders without the compromise of the user’s secret keys or mnemonics.

Final Words

Algorand continues to make it easier for users to carry out seamless transactions on the blockchain; the development of AlgoSigner by PureStake is a testament to this fact.

It is now possible to interact with dApps directly on the chrome web browser without having to compromise account secrets and private keys. Users can create or import their Algorand accounts on the web extension, visit a compatible dApp, and can approve or deny transactions without having ever to leave the browser. It’s as simple as it sounds.

Currently supporting both Algorand TestNet and MainNet, AlgoSigner enables users to create and manage multiple accounts, sign and send various payments transactions, receive funds and Algos, and securely interact with AlgoSigner-enabled web applications.