Crypto Wallet Future Is Creating Secure Products And Educating Users

News, Opinion | May 7, 2019 By:

Current crypto wallet developments are facing a unique situation right now. Developers need to balance their need to implement features and tools, such as editable transaction data, with what the crypto community wants, all while maintaining a safe and secure user interaction – the biggest issue cryptocurrency wallets are currently now facing. Just in 2018 alone, $1.7B in cryptocurrency was lost in scams and thefts.

Current user interfaces are not designed for mainstream use, often not having non-inconsequential user error. It is very common for casual users to somehow end up pressing a button they aren’t supposed to, on an app that is managing their finances. Wallets like Ambo, Rainbow Wallet, and Balance represent a new wave of wallets that remove the unnecessary complexities behind user interfaces to ensure that ‘the layman’ can manage their assets easily and without fear. These wallets achieve this main friction point in generic decentralized finance applications by improving the user interface and user experience to make the steps as easy and simple as possible. For example, gas is a major part of the Ethereum network and these wallets make it easier to process transactions especially with Ambo’s way of automatically adding the gas price to each order. Another way that these products remove complexities is by giving users multiple ways to safely store their private keys and they can choose the easiest one for them.

Additionally, the need for security surrounding the management of private keys is critically important. Private keys are an entirely new concept that newcomers do not understand, and this lack of understanding is what leads to funds being stolen. Recently, security consulting firm Independent Security Evaluators reported that a blockchain bandit has stolen upwards of 45,000 ETH just by successfully guessing weak private keys. While there are a few different teams working on private key management solutions like Bitski and Portis which use an email and password system to unlock wallets, these can be dangerous as they have not had much testing as they have not been around for too long.

While developers can stress the importance of private key management towards their target audience, there are difficulties in education, especially in such a new and complex topic that make it inefficient. Instead, developers should take the burden off of the user, reducing friction points and offering a more seamless and friendly interaction in the same way we intuitively access our own bank accounts online. It pains me to note that there are too many wallets that have been released without proper security audits. Recently, Argent Wallet, a smart contract based wallet that has been live for months, has only had an audit for their smart contracts and not their actual codebase at the time of this writing. We have not heard of any security-related issues, but we believe an app that is designed to protect people’s funds should have a third-party audit their codebase to ensure that the maximum security is provided

One of the biggest narratives behind the power of cryptocurrency is about creating a global economy, but we’re not even close to that yet. While new and casual users face a large variety of barriers, the biggest one that we haven’t even tackled is that casual customers have no idea how to even use it. With the launch of companies like Ambo and similar projects, the industry is collectively taking steps to educate a growing user base for the industry. In conjunction with the progression of private key management technologies, user interface designs, and the adoption of audits – it seems that crypto wallets have an exciting future ahead.