October 19, 2022 - 7 min read
Pocketverse is a free-to-use browser extension that automates web3 security to protect you from various NFT scams without requiring you to connect your wallet or expose any other private information.
CNET reported that Americans have lost more than $1 billion to cryptocurrency scams since the beginning of 2021.
And in that same time period, there have been countless stories of users getting scammed out of their NFTs despite using hardware wallets and taking other measures of precaution.
Actor Seth Green, for example, had his Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT stolen.
In a more recent scam, 7 BAYC NFTs were stolen, totaling $720,000.
I even wrote about an 18-year-old who lost a VeeFriends NFT worth 9 ETH (his life savings) on Christmas Day in 2021.
Despite putting out warnings, guides, and the like, people are still getting scammed due to increasingly sophisticated social engineering.
It’s been a major detriment for the market as a whole because anyone interested in NFTs who doesn’t feel technically capable has likely been sitting on the sidelines. And those who have been burned by scams, aren’t probably eager to jump back in.
That’s where Nishan Samarasinghe and Justin Phu come in.
He and I spent time chatting about his new product Pocket Universe, which is a one-click Web3 transaction security solution that you can start using today, for free, to protect yourself.
In this article, I’m going to dive into the following:
What is Pocket Universe?
How does Pocket Universe work?
How do I install Pocket Universe?
What scams does Pocket Universe help prevent?
Is Pocket Universe safe to use?
How much does Pocket Universe cost? (Note: It’s free to use)
Pocket Universe Website (you can install the extension in one click from here)
Pocket Universe is a browser extension that protects your NFT assets when you sign web3 transactions.
The product simulates transactions before you sign to complete them and warns you if it is a potential scam.
Pocket Universe takes just one click to install, it is free to use and requires no connection to your wallet to start protecting yourself from common NFT scams that have drained millions and millions of dollars from unsuspecting users.
Pocket Universe was founded by Nishan Samarasinghe and Justin Phu, a former software engineer from Facebook, when both decided working corporate jobs wasn’t their passion and they wanted to make an impact on this space.
Nish was very passionate and genuine about building a product that put more safeguards in place for NFT traders, and 3 months ago, they launched their first MVP.
Pocket Universe is a browser extension that runs code on its servers to detect common NFT scams and has a user interface to warn you of potentially damaging transactions before you make them.
It does this by running transaction simulations on a forked copy of the blockchain, reviewing the outcome of that transaction, and providing you with a report of whether it is safe to move forward or not:
The product works with staking, swapping, voting, and all transactions that require signing.
Let’s break down some further FAQs about how Pocket Universe works:
(1) What wallets does Pocket Universe work with?
Pocket Universe works with Metamask wallets and is planned to work with Coinbase Wallet in the near future.
(2) What browsers does Pocket Universe work on?
Pocket Universe works on Google Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge
(3) Because Pocket Universe runs a simulation, does it slow down my transaction speed?
Simulations are done in under 1 second, and since Ethereum’s block time is between 12–15 seconds, the time it takes to simulate the transaction is very unlikely to affect your transaction speed.
(4) Can Pocket Universe move my assets?
No, Pocket Universe cannot move your assets because it does not have access to your wallet, your seed phrase, or your password.
The process to install Pocket Universe is easy and does not require you to connect your Metamask wallet or share any information like your seed phrase or password (which you should never, EVER, share).
It only takes one click to install Pocket Universe because it is a browser extension:
Step 1: Pick your web browser of choice (Chrome, Firefox, Brave) and navigate to the Pocket Universe app for that browser
Step 2: Click Add to Chrome, Add to Firefox, etc:
Source: Chrome Web Store
Yes, it’s really that simple.
There are 4 categories of NFT scams that Pocket Universe is specifically designed to protect against, including:
Token Approval Wallet Drainer
NFT / token assets are stolen because you are tricked into signing token approvals that enable scammers to withdraw other tokens from your wallet.
Malicious Seaport Transactions
These types of scams try to trick you into signing a gasless transaction that “sells” your NFTs for free to the scammer:
Honeypot NFTs is when a scammer tries to trick you into buying an NFT or a token that you cannot sell on marketplaces:
Honeypot token scams are actively occurring even while I’m writing this.
These scams were especially rampant when ENS and BAYC issued their tokens.
Any time that I’ve written an NFT project breakdown, I make sure to link to the verified collection so that users aren’t duped into buying unverified and unofficial NFTs that are worthless.
Even DraftKings founder Matt Kalish fell prey to an unverified NFT collection.
OpenSea has taken measures to prevent this, but scammers are still finding ways around it.
What scams does Pocket Universe not protect you from?
Pocket Universe does not protect you from a compromised seed phrase or private key (make sure to use a hardware wallet!) and does not protect you from NFT project leaders rug pulling.
Yes, Pocket Universe is safe to use.
I met (on video) with the company founder and he made a few very key points clear to me about his customer’s safety when asked:
The Pocket Universe extension does not require access to private keys and you still have to sign transactions in your wallet before you move any assets
You do not need to connect your wallet to use Pocket Universe
The code is open source and available to the public for vetting
Scam detection is done on Pocket Universe servers, so it is hidden and the users just see the results
The extension already has 9,000 users from word-of-mouth growth
The Pocket Universe team plans to introduce an insurance and warranty product (this is already being tested)
I’ve done dozens of interviews with NFT project founders and one of the first signs of integrity that I look for is their willingness to jump on a video call with me and share a bit about their background.
You can check out Nish’s background here.
Pocket Universe is completely free to use but will likely switch to a freemium model where you pay a small fee above a certain number of transactions.
The team and I discussed how they will monetize so they can grow, continue to build the product, and protect more users.
The current plan is to run a freemium model, charging users when they eclipse a minimum amount of transactions.
That means you can start using an automated web3 transaction security browser extension with one-click installation, today, at no cost.
To me, this seems like a no-brainer to protect yourself from common and prevalent NFT scams, especially for those of you with thousands of dollars worth of assets.
It’s about time someone built a tool like this.
Nish and his co-founder have the chance to save millions and millions of dollars with their free browser extension and help you protect your NFT assets.
If you pair this tool with a hardware wallet, the extra layers of security can help you avoid losing your NFT assets and protect yourself from NFT scams.
If you’re interested in installing the tool, you can head to the website to quickly add it to your browser to start getting protection today.
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