Social authentication refers to the Arcana Network feature that allows dApps to onboard end users and validates their identity through one of the popular Web2 authentication providers. The following providers are supported:
In most Web2 applications, social authentication is triggered by either a pop-up or a redirect to the user-selected provider. For most application users, social authentication is a familiar, seamless, and easy way to onboard a new application without having to manage different identities for using different online applications. The downside is, this is a centralized system with a handful of organizations that wield the power of authenticating who you are.
In the Web3 ecosystem, the idea is to not have a single organization that owns the right to validate user credentials but a federated or decentralized system of actors. These actors work via trustless protocols and cryptography for the verifying user's identity in a decentralized manner. These systems use encrypted, shard-ed keys which are not stored with any single entity. The onus is on the user to manage their secret keys and this is a big barrier to entry into Web3 for users that are typically used to Web2 application-like experience with easy password retrieval mechanisms.
Arcana Network's social authentication feature offered by the Auth SDK lowers this barrier to entry into the Web3 ecosystem. It bridges the convenience of traditional social authentication by reducing friction for users while onboarding the Web3 dApp, in a secure and decentralized manner.