‘Completely unusable’: It’s official, decentralised crypto wallets are a pain. Blockchain firm Fun aims to solve this
Fun, a firm aiming to solve considerable decentralised crypto-wallet pain points, has just announced a pre-seed funding round led by a Tinder co-founder’s VC firm.
JAM Fund is a venture capital firm set up by Justin Mateen, co-founder of popular dating app Tinder, and it’s invested a fair chunk of the US$3.9 pre-seed funding round raised by San Francisco firm Fun. (Not to be confused with a crypto-gaming focused project that goes by the same name.)
Other large VCs, including SOMA Capital, NOMO Ventures and Great Oaks Venture Capital have also participated, along with Cory Levy – apparently a prominent early-stage tech investor.
It’s a blockchain software development company building cross-chain wallet infrastructure on the Odsy blockchain – which is a security-focused network of decentralised wallets, aka dWallets.
Considering how much continued risk there is associated with wallet hacks and cross-chain bridging of assets, not to mention how notoriously difficult crypto wallets are to actually use, this is an important area for the industry to get right.
To that end, Fun plans to use the funds to “develop more dynamic, secure, and expressive wallets and access-control applications”.
To learn more, Stockhead threw a few questions over to Mario Baxter, Fun’s CTO and a former machine-learning engineer at Meta. (Warning, this gets a bit cryptographically technical in a couple of places. We’ve linked to explanations where appropriate.)
Hey Mario. Without naming any in particular, even the most widely used decentralised crypto wallets are complex and difficult to use for crypto-space newbies… would you agree?
“Yes, there are many pain points with current decentralised crypto wallets. A user that is not familiar with many of the technical details will find them completely unusable.
What do you think are some of the main barriers or issues people face with them?
We’ve found that traditional Web 2.0 users are not aware of the implications of losing a private key or seed phrase, and they don’t understand nor care about what network they are using and lack many cryptospeak terms like decentralisation, trustlessness, permissionlessness, etc.
The good news is that if we look at the evolution of crypto wallets over time, there is a very clear momentum towards more intuitive and user-friendly wallets.
Do you think improving crypto-wallet usability is a big part of unlocking more widespread crypto adoption?
Much like the internet was not able to reach mass adoption until connecting to and using it became accessible to the everyday person, blockchain technology will not reach mass adoption until it becomes simple enough for the average person to use.
The average internet user today does not know the difference between HTTP, TCP and SMTP but is still able to send emails. Likewise, crypto users should not need to know the ins and outs of the protocols they are using under the hood, and all of this should be abstracted away from the end user.
So how is Fun going to solve crypto-wallet usability issues?
The management of private keys and a technical awareness of the underlying blockchain protocols at work are two of the main usability issues traditional Web 2.0 users face when interacting with Web3.
Our product roadmap aims to attack both of these issues head on: a more intuitive management of private keys by leveraging recent innovations in dWallets & ZKML [zero knowledge machine learning], and the abstracting away of underlying blockchain protocols by leveraging the native interoperability properties of dWallets and user-focused design.
Why did you specifically choose to build on the Odsy Network?
Although there are a few entities building toward this vision today, the winner of this race will necessarily have a strong cryptography background, but equally as important, they will have an extensive cybersecurity background. The Odsy Network team is by far the best equipped in both of these dimensions.
Turing-complete MPC (multi-party computation) will undoubtedly be a foundational building block for the entire blockchain industry within the next decade.
Odsy Network’s dWallet primitive and the work we are doing at Fun will be core puzzle pieces on the journey towards decentralised wallets that are usable by the masses.
How will Fun and Odsy mitigate any crypto-hacking/bridging risks, or any other exploit risks you’re aware of?
Bridge hacks have resulted in more than $2 billion of compromised user crypto funds to date. These hacks will be much less likely to happen to interoperability protocols built on top of the Odsy Network because of the explicit division of labour.
Odsy Network is focused on building a general-purpose infrastructure which exposes the dWallet primitive to developers. They have some of the best cryptographers and cybersecurity experts in the world working on making this infrastructure maximally secure.
Developers building on Odsy Network, like Fun, can take the dWallet primitive for granted and build on top of it without worrying about the technical implementation details.
So this allows developers to implement MPC interoperability applications with orders of magnitude less logical complexity than was previously possible. This reduction in complexity makes it much less likely for bugs to creep in and less likely for hacks to occur.
Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.