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DApp in Depth: Scatter Identity

Scatter is a web extension designed to streamline the process of sending and signing online transactions through web apps that interact with the EOS blockchain.

Here’s how it works: rather than having to manually input your private keys, your address, your email address, phone number, and other pieces of personal data, Scatter will complete the entire process with a single click.

Users of Scatter create a single, comprehensive ‘Identity’ on the platform.  According to the Scatter website, a Scatter Identity “[provides] a layer of abstraction away from your blockchain accounts and help get rid of the need for pesky multi-page registrations.”

When an online form (for example, a checkout form at an online shop) asks for personal information, Scatter will ask for permission to enter the correct data. Scatter will not share your data without authorization.

There are two types of permission on Scatter: Identity permissions and Contract Action Permissions. Identity permissions are the authentication permissions that you give to an application one at a time; Contract Action Permissions are optional permissions that are based on signature requests. This kind of permission allows users to check a box to automatically sign and send transactions that are requested multiple times, like the transactions necessary to send messages in a chat DApp.

It’s also possible to create multiple identities within a single Scatter application. “For instance, if you want to purchase a gift for your spouse you can set up an Identity for them inside of your Scatter once and use it over and over again without having to re-enter that information,” says the Scatter website.

The benefits of using a service like Scatter are clear–the app has the potential to save its users the time and frustration often associated with filling out online forms. Additionally, information stored in Scatter is encrypted, and is only accessible by password.

In a more general sense, DApps that make it easier to use cryptocurrency are good for the whole industry; the lack of ease-of-use in the crypto space is often cited as one of the main factors holding the industry back from widespread adoption.

Still, there are some questions about the security of Scatter. Because the DApp deals with such sensitive data, security compromise could have serious consequences for its users. To ensure that your experience with Scatter is as safe as possible, it is recommended to be running a reputable anti-virus program with your computer and to ensure that the websites you visit have valid SSL certificates.

Scatter can be downloaded from the Google Chrome store or as a Firefox ‘Addon’. It can also be installed via repository–to learn more about this process, check out Scatter’s GitHub page.

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