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The Use Case and Security of Mobile Wallets with Paul Puey – Transcript

This is a transcript of the Podcast – The Use Case and Security of Mobile Wallets with Paul Puey – You can listen the audio here

 

Nye : What is going on, everybody? What is going on? As always, it’s your boy, Nye, and today, we are here with Paul for another episode of Evolvement. Evolvement is the financial podcast where we talk about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and the future of our financial systems. Like I said, today we have Paul on the show. Paul is one of the leads over at Edge Wallet, and Edge Wallet is a mobile wallet solution for holding and storing your cryptocurrency, one that I’ve actually been using recently, as I needed to find a new wallet to store some Monero and things like that. Paul, welcome to the show, man. Really, really glad that we got to meet in Miami and in San Diego, and I’m glad that we got to have you jump on.

Paul Puey : Cool. Thanks for having me. Yeah, definitely glad we got a chance to meet over in San Diego and Miami. There were two great opportunities, and love what you’re up to, helping promote crypto, and so help to … Love to help contribute any information I can.

Nye : Thank you, brother. Thank you. I appreciate that. We’re going to get into a bunch of different things today for everybody that’s listening. I really wanted to touch on the importance of mobile wallets, like why they’re relevant, and the thing that I really want to touch on, which Paul and I will discuss closer to the end of this episode, is the security of mobile wallets. I think that it’s a big question in the crypto space, especially for beginners and things like that. There’s a lot of issues with security on mobile devices, such as attacks on SIM cards and doing SIM swaps and things like that. We’ll get all into that very, very soon here, but I just want to start off, Paul, I want you to just share, can you share a little bit with our audience about yourself, your background, and how you got started in crypto?

Paul Puey : Yeah, so my background, I do have an engineering background. I went to school at Berkeley, studied electrical engineering, left there and actually worked in Silicon Valley for almost a decade working primarily in graphics. I worked for Chromatic Research, which made what is now called a GPU. I also worked at NVIDIA. Before the era of cryptocurrency, also working on GPUs, both kind of, mostly on the software side, low-level drivers, and to some degree, a little bit on the hardware. That’s kind of the background I have, but I actually left for almost a decade, actually over a decade, and worked in small business and didn’t do much of the technical work at all. I didn’t do any development, and that was an opportunity for me to see technology kind of on the other side as a user and not as a developer, without kind of hands on the keyboard.

Paul Puey : That actually, I think, enlightened me to kind of the broader part of our world, the people that are touching money, touching systems. I dealt with, what is it, PCI compliance for credit cards, point of sales, accounting, you name it, HR systems, and it was during kind of that era of my life that I ran into cryptocurrency. It kind of completed the loop. During that era is when I got kind of disheartened by the realization that a lot of the biggest institutions, whether you call it government or companies, are what bring about a lot of the false truths of our world. I went down that path with everything from healthcare, Big Pharma, wellness, and cryptocurrency kind of brought me down that path for the financial system.

Paul Puey : When I discovered Bitcoin, it was the perfect storm. It was the technology that I was familiar with, able to understand, because I was an engineer, as well as the financial aspect of a disruptive tech that can remove a lot of the troubles I had as a small business owner and operator, as well as the opportunity to really flatten the pyramid of power. Right? The opportunity to say like, “All of these large institutions that are controlling the truth, we can remove not all, but a significant amount of that, flatten the pyramid, and allow people to both control their own money and have a better vision of what is actually true.”

Paul Puey : That was kind of like what happened, but we started Edge, at the time it was Airbitz, because we wanted it to be accessible to a lot of people, and the technology, every technology at first is pretty tough to use, and so we wanted to bridge that gap. Here we are today, four or five years in the process, and having learned a whole lot over the course of the years of what people trip up on and trying to build solutions to fix that.

Nye : That’s awesome, man. That’s really cool. We just got back from Bitcoin Miami conference. We had a really good time there, and you guys had a whole booth set up there. That was really, really cool. I guess my next question revolves around like, how did it start, man? Like how did Edge Wallet start? What did you see in the current mobile wallet industry when you were looking into it that maybe there were some errors, or maybe there was some challenges for users using the current mobile wallets, and you just said, “Hey, we need to create something. We need to create a new solution that will fix these problems”?

Paul Puey : It really centered around the experience of key management, key security, and what it felt like when you first started using crypto, and even to this day, it’s still that way for a lot of wallets, when I started in 2013, what it felt like to manage keys, which I believed are, is a very important part of crypto, not leaving them on custodians like exchanges, it felt like taking a file off your computer and saving it somewhere, making sure you didn’t lose it, putting it on an external hard drive or a USB stick, and then encrypting it with potentially sometimes third-party software. That’s what I think the original Bitcoin client would require you to do. You’ve got this wallet.dat file.

Paul Puey : In the landscape of mobile wallets, I remember one of the first wallets I used literally had me export a PDF from my phone and have to save that, and then print that PDF on a piece of paper from a computer, and write down a code on the PDF that was shown on the phone, and it put that somewhere safe. All of these processes are insanely unfamiliar to people. Call them secure, call them insecure. They’re just insanely unfamiliar and intimidating. That was the experience I had.

Paul Puey : I remember I gave a meetup presentation on how to use Armory, because it was at the time touted as one of the most secure options for very high value storage of cryptocurrency. I had used it, so I said, “I should give a presentation on how to use it.” I gave this presentation. I realized about 15 minutes in, I lost everybody. There wasn’t anyone at the meetup that understood what I was saying, and even though I had gone through the process … I remember not liking it myself. Over some repetition. I was like, “Okay, I kind of get it. I’ve got some repetition,” but when you’re putting in a high value of money in something, it’s usually money you’re not going to touch too often, and because you’re not going to touch it too often, it won’t be familiar to you, like that out of sight, out of mind philosophy.

Paul Puey : That was kind of the realization we needed to build something simpler. Being a tech guy, but also being a user experience guy from my small business life of having to play, actually use tech, I had some ideas of how we can bridge the user experience people are accustomed to with normal mobile apps, as well as the security of a noncustodial need for cryptocurrency. At the time, was born Airbitz at the time which was a mobile Bitcoin wallet. We founded that, and our bridge into Edge is primarily for being multi-asset as well as allowing other apps to use that kind of key management security solution that we built for Airbitz.

Nye : Very interesting. Very interesting. That kind of leads me into the next question here, where I want to know more about what the purpose of a mobile wallet is. For me, I have Edge Wallet. I have a couple other mobile wallets, and the purpose of me keeping some funds on them is just simplicity, but for a lot of people, they want to store their crypto on a Trezor or a ledger just because it’s perceived to be more secure. I don’t know the differences between security. I’m not a security expert. I have never tried to get into either a ledger, a Trezor, or an Edge Wallet that I don’t have a password to, so I don’t know any of that stuff, but what is the main use case for Edge Wallet? What’s the purpose of having a mobile wallet besides simplicity?

Paul Puey : Number one, it’s accessibility. Now, a lot of people say, sure, they want to have a ledger or Trezor or whatnot, but how accessible is a $100 hardware device to six billion people? If we look back at what is kind of the purpose of cryptocurrency, it’s an empowerment tool. It’s something that makes a digital economy accessible to billions of people, and telling them that they require a $100 or more hardware device in order to secure it, to me, is a non-starter. At that point, you’ve kind of killed the utility of cryptocurrency, no matter what the utility happens to be, because so many people simply can’t access it.

Paul Puey : I sent out a tweet I think a month ago asking, “How many people have now less crypto, the … How many people have cryptocurrency now that is valued less than the hardware wallet that it’s being held on?” A ton of people responded saying, “Yeah, that’s me, unfortunately,” and so that’s the realization that, “Yeah, we have a vault of cryptocurrency. Yeah, it can go down in value, ironically, to less than what you paid for the hardware wallet,” but the utility of, and accessibility of, a mobile device is very global. We have these things all over the world. Many people don’t even have computers, but they have mobile devices. You’ve heard in the startup world, “Design mobile first. Go mobile first. Maybe have something on the desktop later.” Many companies don’t even have a desktop presence. Uber, Lyft, nothing’s on a desktop. Why would you need them on a desktop? Being mobile first is key from the viewpoint of accessibility to the masses.

Paul Puey : Number two, from the viewpoint of every computing device that you have outside of a hardware wallet, it’s actually our most secure device. Right? It’s the one that is least rife with malware that can attack a user in multiple different ways, so if you’re going to choose a computing device that you already have, mobile happens to be the most secure. Add to that that it happens to also be the most accessible to many, many people around the world. While Trezors and ledgers were flying off the shelf, they still pale in comparison in user count to the amount of people that are using and holding cryptocurrency on mobile devices.

Nye : Yeah. I think accessibility is like the key thing that I hear from you there. The fact that someone in Taiwan, or Africa, or any place around the world can go on, they can download the Edge Wallet, and they can start to, as many of the key leaders say, bank for themselves, I think that’s a really, really interesting, interesting, relevant feature, and I think that’s where I see the future of mobile wallets going. Do you see the future of mobile wallets being that use case specifically? Do you see it being beyond that use case for everyday users, or what’s your vision of mobile wallets in the next 10, 15, 20 years? Do you think they play a major role still?

Paul Puey : Absolutely. I didn’t mention anything about actually using cryptocurrency in my last statement. I didn’t say, “Oh, so you can go to a store and actually make a payment, and maybe hold an identifier that allows you to authenticate into things, and access doors and whatnot as a wallet that holds keys.” I didn’t kind of mention any of that. It was mainly around the accessibility piece, but absolutely as cryptocurrency becomes more useful and people are actually using it for day-to-day, then your mobile wallet’s super critical at that point, because it’s the one thing that you know you’re going to bring around. I think I’m most, I’m less likely to lose my phone than my keys, my physical wallet, my computer, backpack, you name it, because it’s the thing that in a way allows me to retrieve everything else.

Paul Puey : I’ve got like a Tile sitting on my backpack. I’ve got Tile on my keys, but my mobile wallet’s the connectivity to that. I might get locked out of my house. My mobile wallet’s the way that I can call someone to get me in. All of that is so, not my mobile wallet, but my mobile phone specifically. The fact that we’re so attached to that specific device, it’s always in sight, it’s always in hand, it’s always in mind, actually helps also increase the security of that device. People forget about the entire landscape of security and that there isn’t a linear line of more secure and less secure. There’s simply different attack vectors, and if you ask yourself, what are the attack vectors you’re concerned about, that helps lend down the path of what to utilize and what are the best tools to solve the problem.

Paul Puey : One of the biggest attack vectors to cryptocurrency security is actually user error and human memory. Right? Knowing where something is at any point in time is something that many humans are pretty bad at if it’s something they don’t use very often, and losing a backup, a piece of paper, losing a physical device such as a hardware wallet, is far, far more likely than losing your phone, because it’s there at all times. Now, of course, that needs to be backed up, and there’s ways to do that digitally, which is what we focus on Edge, but for the most part, it’s just in sight in mind all the time. That helps bring about an aspect of security against the user themselves and their own user error, which, ironically, as much as people might be trained to fear various aspects of threat and attack, the user themself is historically the biggest cause of loss.

Nye : Very interesting. Very interesting. I mean, I think that leads into like the main part of the conversation I want to have with you here is like security, man. Security’s huge. The Trezors and the ledgers, they claim to be very, very highly secure, and when most people think of mobile solutions, who are uneducated around the security of mobile devices, they think, “Oh, that’s a very, very, very bad idea, to store a large amount of your money on a mobile device.”

Nye : I think that you were saying earlier that mobile devices are actually highly secure. One of the more secure devices that you have, which is really, really interesting, I want to touch on that, and at the same time it’s interesting for me to be utilizing the Edge Wallet or to be utilizing any mobile wallet and think that, “Wow, this is actually okay to do. It’s actually secure on here.” Can you just touch on that a little bit? What do you think is the, why do you think people fear mobile solutions so much? Why do you think this is such a big fear for people, and why is there so much lack of education around it?

Paul Puey : Yeah, we’ve definitely asked ourselves this question and almost kind of mini-interviewed a lot of people trying to get to the root of that fear and where it comes from. I think what is happening is, there’s a knee-jerk reaction to media, for one. I’ll kind of rewind and kind of take that original statement I made about the cause of loss. Whenever you think about security, you have to first think of what is the actual cause of loss, and by far number one is user error, so people losing a backup, not creating a backup, not knowing where their keys are. That’s definitely a very, very, a very big part.

Paul Puey : Second to that is custodial solutions, people leaving funds on an exchange, a hosted wallet. That’s hundreds and hundreds of millions, if not billions now with the increase in price of cryptocurrency. That’s in the billions of dollars of loss of crypto between those two, but what people … People see the exchange hacks and whatnot, so they kind of fear it, but they kind of don’t, but the thing that people do see with respect to mobile wallets is media publicizing mobile, quote-unquote “mobile device hacks” and people losing millions of dollars, but there’s a misunderstanding of what the hack really is and how you could protect yourself from it.

Paul Puey : Almost all … Actually, I can’t think of any that aren’t this. All of the mobile device hacks that lose cryptocurrency that have been published in the media are almost entirely due to custodial solutions holding someone’s cryptocurrency. It’s always a SIM card hack, which means someone ported a SIM card phone number, got access to your number, which allowed them to reset your email, which allowed them to reset the password of an exchange account, which allowed them to remove your cryptocurrency from an exchange account. That was the hack. The phone itself was never hacked. The phone company was, a centralized service which held the value which is your phone number. When the layman, an uneducated person, sees that, the first thing they think is, “My mobile phone is insecure.” When it’s a phone company, that is. I was SIM hacked about a month and a half ago, and absolutely no cryptocurrency was lost because I didn’t have anything that people could steal on an exchange. The exchanges I did have, I had two-factor authentication on them, but my cryptocurrency’s in keys that I own, and with that, a SIM hack couldn’t have affected me.

Paul Puey : I mean, this is a critical difference that many people don’t dig any deeper into, and if you look at the title of these media articles, it’s really misleading. I think that’s the first knee-jerk reaction that people have to mobile devices being insecure. Now, granted, inherently in between a mobile device and a Trezor, or a ledger and a hardware wallet, if you think about a digital attack from an outside source, I’ll give definite credit that, from that point of view, a hardware wallet is more secure from that specific attack vector. It’s more secure. However, if you look at it from the viewpoint of the type of errors a user’s likely to make, people have lost money from hardware wallets by virtue of the backup. This is a critical thing, and it’s not just something that hardware wallets have a major flaw in. It’s any wallet that requires a user to back up their seed, write down 12, 24 words.

Paul Puey : People don’t realize that while you might build the most secure device for securing crypto, you’ve thrown the most sensitive thing, right, these 12, 24 words, you’ve thrown them at a very, very imperfect user and told them to put it somewhere that is both secure against other people but that they won’t lose. If you think about the human brain, it’s not good at both. Right? You want to put it somewhere that’s out of sight but not out of mind, and those are kind of like butting heads, and that is the weakness of pretty much any solution that says, “Write down these 12 words.”

Paul Puey : That’s why I’ve never been a fan of those 12 words or a file that you have to save and remember where it is. That is kind of the inherent flaw. I know people that have taken 12 words, put it somewhere very unsafe like on Dropbox unencrypted, or underneath a keyboard, and that be the reason that they lost a vast majority of their cryptocurrency. That is the single kind of kink in the armor that people kind of don’t realize is pretty significant in almost all wallet solutions.

Nye : Agreed, man. Agreed. I mean, I’ve seen a couple different solutions coming out for them, for higher security on those 12, 24 words, whatever they are. I have a buddy who literally writes down his 24-word passphrase, and I’m not even kidding you, he puts them in three separate parts across the world. I think it’s really interesting to see people take things like that really, really seriously, but when we’re talking about mobile wallets, we’re talking about the SIM hacks there.

Nye : I think you’re right there. I was recently SIM hacked as well, SIM swapped, whatever you want to call it. No crypto was stolen either, but it’s scary. People can get into your email and things like that, and it’s important just not to store your 12, 24 or whatever, word code phrase in a place that is highly vulnerable. When you’re building these security issues for mobile wallets, or the security concerns I should say, for mobile wallets, is, what are the vulnerabilities you guys are looking for? Like is there specific things where you’re like, “Okay, we need to watch this area. We need to watch this area, watch this area”? Is it like, and how did you even begin to learn about those vulnerabilities?

Paul Puey : Right, so the vulnerabilities that we are obviously looking for first are the vulnerabilities of the human, so don’t want to overemphasize that, but what are people most likely to do, forget, do wrong, or just simply not do in general? When it comes to kind of digital vulnerabilities, not like the human error, the things that we’re looking for are, or what we have heard and analyzed on a mobile device or even on a computer, one of the two biggest vulnerabilities and even, as much as he might say a whole lot of wack job statements, the two vulnerabilities that even John McAfee has kind of mentioned as being most prevalent on computing devices are not full root access malware that can see and enter your programs, and change what you see on screen, and access the memory of the programs while they’re running. That’s not the type of vulnerabilities that we see.

Paul Puey : They’re typically, they fall under two categories, a screen grabber and a keyboard logger. Right. Those are kind of the two, and so in assessing a lot of tools for cryptocurrency, I kind of asked myself, “How can we defeat or at least mitigate those risks, right, if there is a screen grabber or there’s a keylogger?”

Paul Puey : A lot of wallets will show you your keys on screen because you have to write them down. The earlier ones are actually harder to use. You remember I mentioned that PDF backup that that one wallet made me do, like, “Export this PDF, and then write this thing down”? That actually eliminated both the keylogger and the screen grabber, because you never saw the key on screen. You just had to send yourself a PDF, and then the code that you did see on screen you have to write down in the PDF, but both were needed, but because of that complexity, it was much more complicated for the user, and they’re more likely to screw it up. The keylogger and the screen grabber. If an app shows you your keys on screen, you are now kind of at the mercy of hoping there wasn’t a screen grabber on screen.

Paul Puey : As well, if you had to enter your key, your private key, into the app like either at initialization time or to verify it, then you have the potential of also getting a key swept. One thing that helps protect against that, and other wallets have implemented this, is to simply not show the key but show random words on screen that you tap on, and they’re potentially out of order, so that definitely helps.

Paul Puey : One thing that we’ve done to implement security against that is two-factor authentication, so making it where, number one, you never see the key itself. Right? You don’t … You can if you wanted to, but that is actually lower security. A user is never driven in Edge to back up their key or see them on screen. They have the option to do it to prove that they own their key, but they’re never driven to do it, because it’s encrypted and backed up in the background for them, so making sure that that is kind of is a default, and not sure the key is key, is key, not to use a pun, but then second is, and this is a flaw of a lot of wallets, is making sure that the key is on disk, like as they’re stored on your phone, are encrypted, because malware that might get installed via another application could have access to basically look at your hard drive, look at your storage on disk. If at rest the keys are not encrypted, then they have the potential to go and actually sweep the keys out.

Paul Puey : This may have happened to a few people that have lost funds on mobile devices and almost everyone that I’ve … This is a total of two people that I’ve heard have lost some funds on mobile wallets were using apps that do not encrypt keys on the device, so when you shut down the app and you launch up the app and you can send money, well, the keys are sitting on your phone, but they’re not encrypted. That is another huge kind of opening that you make yourself susceptible to with some mobile applications. I think that’s getting better. Most wallets are now using the Secure Element of the phone to keep keys encrypted on the device, and Edge, as well, keeps keys encrypted on the device as soon as they’re created and as soon as you can use them.

Paul Puey : Keylogger, screen grabbers, solution to protect against that, two-factor authentication or an app having creative ways of showing or having you enter your private key. Then I think second is protection against kind of on-disk storage getting looked at by malware. That kind of protection is simply encryption and make sure that they’re encrypted. I haven’t heard of any compromises from any types of mobile wallets that implement measures against those kind of two or three types of kind of compromises.

Nye : What about if I lose my phone? Right? I know that we said earlier on that one of the things that we always have on us is our phone. I agree. I’m always like, I’m walking around the city or whatever, and I’m always, I’ll reach out, tap my pocket real quick and be like, “Okay, I got my phone. I got my wallet. I got my headphones.” Those are the three things that I always have on me at all times and I’m always checking if I have on me, but in the random case that let’s say either A, I lose my phone, or B, I get a brand new phone for some reason, what’s the security around those kind of things? I mean, I’m sure you’ve already taken this into accountability for Edge Wallet and things like that, but what if I have a bunch of Monero or a bunch of crypto, Bitcoin, on an Edge Wallet, I lose my phone, and I’m in freakout mode? What do I do then?

Paul Puey : I’ll kind of talk about in the landscape of mobile wallets in general and then talk a little bit about Edge. With mobile wallets in general or any user-controlled wallet, you need to have a backup. That’s just kind of the truth of it all. Whether that backup be that weird PDF file that you had to write down, print out, and then write a code on, or it’s 24 words that you write down, that is your recovery mechanism for pretty much every wallet on the market except Edge. With Edge, you actually have an encrypted version of those keys that are saved over into the cloud. They’re saved with us, and if you lose your phone, get a new one, log in and you’re back into your account. Pretty much as simple as that.

Paul Puey : It feels just like a regular account. If there’s two-factor authentication enabled, which we do highly recommend, then you actually do have a time delay, and this is a very, very common security tool is time delays. With our two-factor authentication, if you don’t have a second device that you happen to use, like another tablet or another phone, then getting back access into those funds has a time delay. Currently, it’s a week, and so that way, if someone else got access to your credentials, you would get a notification every day for a week if they tried to log into your account. A time delay plus your own credentials is what effectively implements the security, but also the recoverability, on another device.

Nye : Interesting. Very interesting. I like that. Moving out of the security kind of things here, I want to talk more about like the adoption that you have been seeing and that you might be predicting to see in the future. Are you seeing a lot of things coming from, I don’t know, some third-world countries and a lot of use there? Are you seeing more use in the U.S.? What kind of statistics can you share with me, and what have you guys been seeing in terms of your development and your progress with Edge Wallet?

Paul Puey : Got it. With Edge, we’re fairly new with respect to the specific product of Edge Wallet. The architecture of Edge is old, and that’s since it was based on Airbitz, which was built and launched back in 2014, 2015, so with respect to traction, what we’re seeing, we’re kind of seeing still initial growth from a relatively new product. It’s only about a year old, and there, what we’re noticing is growth that tends to track kind of the new functionality that we add to the application. It’s not so much regional-based, such as when we added XRP and Monero, we saw a good bump up from the ability for people to use XRP and Monero, and then we saw some additional growth when we added the ability for people to buy using a credit card. Little things like that are showing growth for us.

Paul Puey : Now, as far as regional growth, we’re primarily still the U.S. We’re a U.S.-based company. Our team is almost entirely in the U.S., and so about 40 to 50% of the new accounts created come from the U.S., but we are seeing kind of … Not close, but second, third, fourth, fifth place, as far as that growth, is coming from places like South America, which, as many people feel, is a place definitely of need of cryptocurrency, some of those countries going through some financial issues and crisis or have history of that, and so they can relate to it.

Paul Puey : As well, we’re seeing growth in the Middle East, to some degree even like Iran, Israel, and then other English-speaking countries, just because that has been, when you’re strong in the U.S., a lot of your marketing and your content will resonate with other English-speaking countries, but for now it’s definitely been significantly U.S.-based. We do have a strong initiative to grow in an Asian region. We have partnerships and investors out of Asia that will align well with integrations in Edge, and since their user base is focused a lot in Asia, Eastern Europe, that’s going to be one of the big growth targets for us over the course of 2019.

Nye : Very interesting. That’s awesome, man. I love that. I love that. Final question for you here. We’ll wrap it up right after this question, but I really want to know like, what’s the process of getting coins integrated on mobile wallets? Like in terms of development, is this like a hard thing to do, or do you have to work side by side with the company or with the coin developers to get these things on there? Does it take a lot of resource to implement new coins? I’ve always wondered that, because there’s like, for example, Jaxx wallet. There’s Edge Wallet. There’s a bunch of these wallets, but I have …

Nye : The reason that I found Edge Wallet specifically was because I wanted to store my Monero somewhere, and I searched on the App Store, and I was looking for the best Monero wallet. I downloaded a few of them. They were honestly horrible, and I was very worried for my security, and then I downloaded Edge Wallet, saw you guys had the Monero integration available and went through what you guys have been doing and I was like, “All right, I really like this.” Funny enough, it was literally like a day or two before one of your teammates messaged me on Twitter completely randomly, so it’s very synchronistic, but anyways, I’m always curious why these mobile wallets don’t have a lot of coins on there. Is it a time thing? Is it the challenge for development and integration? Is it resources? What’s kind of the thing around that?

Paul Puey : Definitely engineering effort, time, is a huge part of it. There’s no question about that. Some coins might be similar to others, thereby reducing the amount of time and energy and effort. Some coins may have good libraries built in the language that though wallet development team uses. As an example, our wallet is built mostly in JavaScript with a little bit of C++. If a library’s available in that language, that makes it easier for us. Monero was one of the hardest cryptocurrencies to implement in Edge, but I think it was made easy by an architecture that we built that was very flexible for multiple blockchains. That could be another issue as well if a wallet is built without a lot of, without a proper architectural flexibility, to adopt the subtle differences between different blockchains, that could hinder their ability to add a bunch, a lot of different support.

Paul Puey : Many wallets are these huge multi-asset wallets that’ll claim, “We support hundreds of assets,” but they’ll barely support more than two blockchains, meaning really they support Bitcoin and a hundred forks of Bitcoin, which in many cases is nothing more than a parameter change. It’s like you just change the code a little tiny, tiny bit, you change a few variables in the code, and now you support this other coin. Others will support Ethereum and a bunch of tokens, and tokens are almost free to support additional ones of. Right? Almost.

Paul Puey : I think what we pride ourselves in is because of the architecture we’ve built, and I think a pretty damn good team that we’ve got that can deal with a lot of the complexities of chains, is that we have the most unique blockchains of any wallet in the sense that we support Bitcoin as a blockchain and all of the derivatives. Litecoin, Dash, Zcoin, and a few others. As well, we support Ethereum, and Monero, and XRP, and Stellar, and EOS. That’s six very unique blockchains that don’t have a whole lot in common, require different libraries, but we have a great architecture that makes that much more fluid and pluggable.

Paul Puey : We actually created a plugin architecture where the different blockchains are a plugin, and the remainder of the app mostly doesn’t have to change. I think that’s going to be the key to why you’ll see a lot of support in Edge that you’re just not going to see in most other wallets. It’s, we’ve got a stellar team that I’m super proud I’ve put together, as well as an architecture that lends itself well. Plus, we care about that. We don’t want to just advertise us as having hundreds of assets. We only support about four or five tokens. Just because they’re easy to add doesn’t mean we’re going to add them outright. Want to support the ones that are meaningful.

Paul Puey : Then on the unique blockchain side, there’s definitely an effort in that regard. However, I think one thing people underestimate, we get a lot of requests to add just random forks of Bitcoin. A thing that people forget about is, even if it’s easy on the code side to add a coin, it might not be easy on the support side, in the maintenance side, so we add a coin, it’s only one page, one, a few lines of code, but that means that’s a coin that we now have to test on every single release. We have to make sure that we can send money, can receive money, that the address format is correct. Every time we refactor our code, we have to make sure that the refactor doesn’t break that blockchain, and referring mostly to a lot of Bitcoin forks, because they’re so subtly different.

Paul Puey : That’s caused definitely a lot of headache for us and potentially other wallets as well, so we don’t support a tremendous number of Bitcoin forks, and we try to stick to ones that are fairly high value. Now, as far as getting incorporated, that is, there’s an engineering effort involved. Sometimes, we had most of the burden. Sometimes, the coin team has most of the burden either in engineering or in cost, and that can kind of go either way. That’s just something that we negotiate with each of the teams, but as far as getting incorporated and into Edge, obviously proving that you have a high-value unique proposition to the industry and ability to contribute resources, whether that’s engineering or funds to getting the integration in place, and then for unique blockchains we, having a team that can work with us pretty closely on what are the libraries involved, and how we call those libraries, all of that helps with getting support inside of Edge.

Nye : I love it, man. I love it. Well, thank you, man, so much for coming on. Thank you for talking to me about this mobile wallet thing, specifically about the security. I think what you shared about the security is key. I think people need to remember that what you said specifically about, security issues happen within the mobile, like mobile companies themselves, like AT&T, T-Mobile, whatever it might be, that’s where the security is an issue. It can happen with SIM swaps and things like that, and if you’re keeping sensitive information in your email or other places where it’ll probably be extremely highly vulnerable, like Evernote or Dropbox or things like that, probably not a good idea, but, man, Paul, thank you so much for coming on. It seems like mobile wallets actually have some pretty decent security and things like that. Can you just share with the people where they can learn a little bit more about yourself and about Edge Wallet, and where can we download this? Is it on the App Store? Is it on Android? What are the capabilities you have currently set up?

Paul Puey : Yeah, sure. Everyone can kind of get more information about Edge and our team at our website, edge.app. From there, there’s links to our Twitter account, @EdgeWallet. We’re also on Facebook. You can find us there. You can find our team on Telegram. We’re actively communicating with users, partners, on Telegram and Slack, and you can download our app both on iOS and on Android and a direct download if you have an Android that doesn’t have access to Google Play. There’s a direct download right off our website as well. We’re pretty accessible. Feel free to reach out. Want to hear from the community, and definitely send us feedback on anything you run into.

Nye : Awesome. Paul. Thank you guys so much. All those links will be in the description below so you can learn more about Edge Wallet, you can download it, etc., etc. Again, Paul, thank you so much for coming on, and guys, this is another episode of the Evolvement Podcast, where we talk about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and the future of our financial systems. I really do think that mobile wallets are going to play a very large role around the world specifically in the coming years in terms of adoption and things like that, so Paul, I applaud you on helping lead that adoption, helping push it forward. Really, really appreciate it, my man, and you guys, we will see you next time at the next episode. Peace.

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