One of the pain points in cryptocurrencies is getting people to understand how to properly set up and use wallets. Now a lot of that pain is removed by the ZenGo wallet, which is the first keyless, non-custodial crypto wallet that gives users excellent security for their funds without sacrificing convenience.
It’s a win-win situation that also comes with a large slate of added features that makes using cryptocurrencies nearly mainstream.
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The ZenGo wallet is available for all iOS devices from the iPhone 6 onwards, and for most Android devices, so it is basically available for nearly anyone who owns a mobile device.
It has support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most of the major cryptocurrencies. Not only that, but users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies right within the app.
Keep reading to learn about the multiparty computation that forms the base of security for the ZenGo, as well as all the other features, both working and planned.
The ZenGo Team
The ZenGo team is made up of nearly 20 talented and devoted professionals, all of whom are focused on creating a wallet that makes cryptocurrency storage and usage as safe and easy as possible.
The team is led by the three founding members of ZenGo – Ouriel Ohayon, Tal Be’ery, and Omer Schlomovits.
Ouriel Ohayon is the CEO of ZenGo and a serial entrepreneur. Prior to the founding of ZenGo he was also a co-founder of ISAI Gestion, an early stage angel fund, and AppsFire which is a native advertising network and technology for mobile.
Tal Be’ery is the VP of research and development and prior to that he was the head of security for the firm. He also works as a journalist and writes a bi-weekly column on computer and network security. Prior to co-founding ZenGo Tal worked as a cyber-security consultant.
Omer Schlomovits is the VP of research for ZenGo. He also runs ZenGo X, which is the research community attached to ZenGo, with over 500 members. He also co-founded MPC-Alliance, a consortium of 50+ companies collaborating to advance MPC technology.
Currently he serves as a board-member and head of the technical committee. Prior to that he co-founded Zero-Knowledge TLV, a 750+ members applied cryptography community in Israel. This community is now part of ZK-Global.
Multiparty Computation & Threshold Signatures
The thing with most crypto wallets is that they make the user choose between asset control and convenience.
You can either maintain full control over your assets (non-custodial wallets), but suffer inconveniences in the setup and use of the wallet, or you can enjoy greater convenience in the usage of the wallet, but need to give up control over your digital assets (custodial wallets).
However ZenGo is using multiparty computation and threshold signatures to give users both convenience and control. Users are able to enjoy high levels of security and convenience in a non-custodial wallet.
It does this by replacing the typical private key used in the creation of most wallets with a pair of independently created secret shares. One of these is stored on the users device, while the other is securely stored on the ZenGo servers.
In order to complete a transaction both parts need to interact. That means ZenGo never has access to your funds, but you also get the same convenience of a custodial wallet.
When you sign up for ZenGo and create a wallet for the first time (which only takes 19 seconds, by the way), the wallet app scans your face and stores that scan as an encrypted 3D biometric face map so it can be used in the future if you ever lose the device your wallet is on, or if you inadvertently delete the wallet from your device.
That’s so much easier than writing down a list of 20 words and then storing them in case you need to restore your wallet.
Note that with this system there’s no single point of failure, ensuring that if something happens to one of the secret shares your crypto remains protected and safe.
Plus these security measures are implemented in a simple, user-friendly wallet interface that is a pleasure to use. Signing up is straight-forward and amazingly quick, with no need for additional documents. Sending and receiving crypto is easy, as is buying and selling crypto right from the wallet.
ZenGo Chill Storage
Now I know some of you are thinking to yourselves that this all sounds great, but what happens if the ZenGo servers are inaccessible, or go permanently offline.
The team at ZenGo thought of that as well and created Chill Storage as a solution. With this solution even if ZenGo fails and the company ceases operations, you’ll still be able to access your crypto easily.
Chill storage is the guaranteed recovery process created by the ZenGo team. With it they have created a master encryption key and a master decryption key. The master decryption key has been placed in escrow, and a law office has been named as trustee of the escrow.
The trustee is responsible for monitoring ZenGo to verify the company and its servers are still operational. If they ever find that the ZenGo servers are non-operational they can request the decryption key from the escrow company. This is the start of Recovery Mode.
The trustee will then post the decryption key to a dedicated GitHub account. This process is run by humans with multiple safeguards and checks to avoid wrong signals.
ZenGo, the mobile app installed by our customers, constantly monitors this repository and if a valid key is released, it enters recovery mode.
Upon entering recovery mode, the app is able to decrypt the Server Key and recreate the private keys for all the associated coins and addresses.
These private keys can then be loaded to other wallets. That way, users are free to move their funds without relying upon ZenGo servers.
One of the nice additional features included in the ZenGo wallet is the Savings feature. Savings is in its own separate tab in the wallet and it allows you to earn yield by lending or staking certain cryptocurrencies.
Currently the wallet has support for earning yield by lending Bitcoin through the Nexo platform, or by providing Compound to a liquidity pool. In addition, the wallet also supports U.S. dollar Tether (USDT), Dai (DAI), and U.S. dollar Coin (USDC).
The documentation included in the wallet indicates that 0x and Basic Attention Token are also supported for savings, but we did not see these options in the Savings area of the wallet during our test.
When contacting support they confirmed that you will see the available savings options in the wallet, but didn’t elaborate so I can only assume that the available options change and the documentation hasn’t been updated, or the available options may be based on your geographical location.
The ZenGo wallet also supports staking Tezos (XTZ) tokens, which means users are able to act as validators to help secure the Tezos network and will receive a return of roughly 5.5% on their staked XTZ. It should be noted that when staking XTZ the first rewards are not received for 33 days.
It’s been indicated that the wallet will also add support for staking Ethereum in the future, but as of May 2021 we are still waiting for that functionality to be added.
Perhaps with the recent $20 million in funding received by the project they will be able to add support for Ethereum staking.
ZenGo introduced crypto trading directly from the wallet in June 2020, however it still isn’t available globally. For example, U.S. users will not be able to trade using the wallet, even though the Trade button is still present in the wallet.
But for those who have access to trading from within the wallet it is brilliant. Just a few taps and you are able to exchange a variety of cryptocurrencies without needing to leave the wallet and navigate the confusing landscape of a crypto exchange.
ZenGo allows for trading in any of the assets supported by the wallet, and uses its integration with Fox.Exchange to make the trades work.
The great thing is you can make instant trades using your wallet without going through the sometimes complicated process involved in signing up with an exchange.
ZenGo doesn’t require any KYC documents. Plus there’s no need to transfer your assets around to make a trade, or worry about trusting your private keys to the exchange.
Buy and Sell in ZenGo
Another benefit of using ZenGo as your wallet is the ability to easily buy and sell crypto right from within the wallet.
Currently buying crypto is supported globally (188 countries), however selling is only supported for the EU and U.K. The team says support for selling crypto in the U.S. will be added soon.
Buying cryptocurrencies is powered by Moonpay and Coinmama, and can be done using a number of fiat currencies and seven different payment methods:
- Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
- Apple Pay (Visa and MasterCard)
- Bank transfer (SEPA and Swift)
- Debit card (Maestro)
- Google Pay (Mastercard)
- Samsung Pay (Mastercard)
- GBP instant bank transfers
There are fees associated with buying and selling crypto through the wallet, and the fee structure differs based on the service used and the payment method. In general the fees are of four different types.
Network fee: Paid to the blockchain network operators. This fee changes over time based on network conditions and is not paid to ZenGo. Note that network fees for ERC20 tokens are paid in ETH.
Processing fee: Paid to the operators of the buying, selling, and trading services. This is a % of the total transaction amount and varies by operator and asset.
Spread: Paid to the operators of the buying, selling, and trading services. This is the difference (usually a few %) between the spot market price and the order price, and is used to cover volatility risk.
Local currency conversion fee: Paid to the operators of the service when you buy cryptocurrency in a local currency other than USD/CAD/AUD/EUR/GBP.
You can see the full fee structure here.
ZenGo Crypto Debit Card
ZenGo announced at the end of November 2020 that they will be releasing a crypto debit card on the Visa network that will allow wallet holders to spend their cryptocurrencies easily anywhere Visa is accepted.
The card is expected to launch first in the U.S. and will then expand to other regions globally.
ZenGo is all about making cryptocurrency easier for people to use, and this card is just one more step in that direction. Obviously people are very used to paying with credit cards, and if they have a card that makes it just as easy to spend their crypto holdings it should increase adoption greatly.
The cards are expected to be shipped sometime in 2021 and right now you can be put on a waiting list to receive one either from within the wallet itself, or on this webpage.
Free Bitcoin from ZenGo
ZenGo is currently offering $10 in Bitcoin when you make your first deposit into the wallet. To collect your BTC simply follow these five steps:
- Download ZenGo using this link;
- On the email screen, tap on “Tap here to enter your code” and use the code ZENFJO6W, then tap Apply;
- Make sure you see “Referral code applied” and continue signing up with your email;
- Tap on Buyin the app;
- Make a purchase of $200 or more.
The BTC will be credited to your account within a few days.
Want to earn even more Bitcoin? Then refer your friends, family, and followers to the ZenGo wallet. You’ll get 50% of the commissions every single time they buy cryptocurrency using the ZenGo wallet. For life. Welcome to passive crypto income.
All things considered ZenGo appears to be an excellent wallet, particularly if you’re looking for all the functionality it offers.
You can hold a large number of cryptocurrencies in the same wallet, trade them with each other (depending on your jurisdiction), and enjoy the security offered by a non-custodial wallet.
We also were impressed with the recovery features of the wallet. That includes both the user recovery via biometric facial recognition, and the server side recovery should the ZenGo servers ever go down permanently.
We also felt that ZenGo has an excellent user interface. It’s uncluttered, and quite intuitive. Ease of use is one of the overriding missions of ZenGo and they certainly hit that right with their UX.
You could do much worse when choosing a wallet, but we don’t think you could do much better than the ZenGo. And when you consider the $20 million in funding they’ve recently received it makes sense to think that even more improvements are on the horizon.
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