Hodllabs began in early 2018 with a vision — one of a future in which cryptocurrency is at the center of all financial transactions. The technology has been around for more than a decade now and yet the vision is still far from a reality. The reason is simply the technology which is complicated and incredibly feature rich. Most attempts at simplifying it ends up sacrificing security. The UX is most often left to the lowest priority during the development process. If no one is able to use this technology then what purpose does this technology actually serve?
2017 marked the first time when people’s demand of using cryptocurrency as money was met by businesses en mass. Businesses ranging from mom-and-pop stores and small businesses all the way to giants such as Microsoft started accepting cryptocurrency payments. It served as yet another reminder that people were excited by and hungry to participate in the technology. An unfortunate side effect of all this, however, was wide spread losses of non-trivial amounts of personal wealth because users were not adequately informed on how to securely use the technology. This problem was further compounded by existing UX being complicated and intimidating to the everyday person. And it wasn't just hackers and scammers you had to watch out for but also the very real risk of accidentally losing access to your own money. In fact, it's currently estimated that as much as 3 million Bitcoin may be 'lost' to private key mishandling. Ouch!
2017 also highlighted a new trend and desire for people to have access to their coins from their mobile devices due to its simplicity and portability. Countless mobile wallets sprang into existence to try and accommodate this demand but all of them came with the same fundamental problem – poor security of the private keys. Nonetheless, the message was heard loud and clear: there was a strong and growing demand for a wallet that was easy to use, portable, and secure.
Enter the hardware wallet – a device to securely store your private keys, supplying them only when they are needed. The attack surface when using a hardware wallet is much smaller than when using a mobile device or computer. The price these hardware wallets paid for enhanced security was portability, and ease of use. This resulted in the adoption of a new practice whereby people would only store small amounts of 'hot' crypto funds in their mobile wallets while leaving the majority of their personal wealth in a hardware wallet.
At Hodllabs, we wanted to change this behavior. We desired a wallet which was secure enough to carry our entire personal wealth while still allowing a hassle-free experience for our everyday financial needs. There's no reason why we shouldn't be able to securely transact on a moment’s notice. For continued financial mass adoption, the cryptocurrency experience must be simplified.
By focusing on simplistic wallet UX and not trying to support every feature that crypto as a technology might support, we are able to increase security while also reducing the risk of anyone mishandling their own crypto wealth. By combining this approach with a mobile-first design, we are able to finally offer an easy and secure gateway into the world of cryptocurrency. Vault E is our attempt at making cryptocurrency less daunting, easy to understand, and easy to use. This is crypto for everyone.