Behind Trust Wallet: A Glimpse into the World's Leading Multi-chain Crypto Walletby@ishanpandey
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Behind Trust Wallet: A Glimpse into the World's Leading Multi-chain Crypto Wallet

by Ishan PandeyAugust 7th, 2023
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Eowyn Chen, the pioneering force steering the helm of Trust Wallet, opens up in this candid chat about decentralization, navigating the crypto cosmos, and the perpetual balancing act between innovation and security. Dive into an enlightening conversation that merges the spirit of entrepreneurship with the quest for a decentralized future.
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Eowyn Chen, the pioneering force steering the helm of Trust Wallet, opens up in this candid chat about decentralization, navigating the crypto cosmos, and the perpetual balancing act between innovation and security. Dive into an enlightening conversation that merges the spirit of entrepreneurship with the quest for a decentralized future.

Inside Look: How Trust Wallet's Security Scanner is Revolutionizing Crypto Safety

Ishan Pandey: Hi Eowyn, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Trust Wallet?

Eowyn Chen: Hello Ishan, it's a pleasure to be here and thank you for inviting me to this enlightening series.

I currently have the privilege to lead Trust Wallet as the CEO, steering one of the world’s largest multi-chain, non-custodial crypto wallets. Our vision is to empower tens of millions of users globally with freedom foundations - providing them with the ownership to directly manage their digital assets on blockchains.

Before joining Trust Wallet, I sharpened my skills as the VP at Binance leading the central marketing team. Our mission was clear, yet ambitious: scaling user numbers from tens into hundreds of millions. We achieved this through great collaboration and support from the community.

Prior to my immersion in the blockchain space, my career spanned different facets of business. I participated in the go-to-market launch for international startups. My foundation was laid at Oliver Wyman in New York, where I honed my skills as a management consultant for financial services and introduced me to blockchain as a technology that could improve the existing outdated financial tech stacks running behind the banks.

Now, about Trust Wallet's genesis. Viktor, a freedom fighter and visionary, had been someone I shared many spirited discussions with and admired to work with one day since 2018. We knew each other in late 2018 when Binance acquired Trust Wallet. At the start of 2022, he reached a pivotal decision: his passion was steering him towards product and technical development only without worrying about the rest of the business. And I was at a turning point that I yearned to be closer to the innovative frontier of the industry and be closer to the decentralized community. Seeing the potentials of the great team and product, and aligning with his vision, I took up the reins.

Our team at Trust Wallet is as unique and decentralized as the product we're building. We span across 19 different time zones. This geographical diversity is not merely a statistic; it's a testament to our commitment to creating a decentralized world. The decentralized nature of our team fosters creativity and innovation, allowing us to better understand the needs of our global user base.

In essence, Trust Wallet is more than just a company; it’s part of a movement towards a more transparent and accessible world that empowers everyone for the digital future. We're not just building a product; we're on a journey with the community towards the mission. It's a thrilling journey, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. Thank you for letting me share our story.

Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about Trust Wallet and how the company aims to address the crucial challenge of storing virtual assets securely amidst all-time-high cybersecurity threats?

Eowyn Chen: Certainly, Ishan, I'd love to dive into Trust Wallet's mission and how we're addressing the vital challenge of securely storing virtual assets, particularly in the context of the ever-increasing cybersecurity threats. Trust Wallet is a gateway that enables users to explore and interact with over 80 blockchains, access and manage NFTs on 15 chains and 10+ million digital assets. We pride ourselves on being the No. 1 mobile wallet globally in active usage and downloads; and since our web extension's launch in November 2022, we've rapidly risen to top-tier status with over a million installs as well.

Our aim? To demystify and simplify the Web3 experience. We strive to create a powerful yet user-friendly platform where people can securely access dApps, try DeFi, and stake crypto to contribute to chain security and get rewards. All these features are integrated into a seamless environment, marrying convenience with security.

Security is not just an add-on at Trust Wallet; it's embedded in our core philosophy. We understand the gravity of cybersecurity threats, and we have initiated rigorous measures to assure our users that our mobile app and browser extension are robustly safeguarded.

Here's what we've done:

  • Intensive Auditing: To ensure our own operational and coding hygiene, we increasing our security audits and audit coverage to +30 a year, engaged multiple top-tier, third-party external auditors like Cure53, Certik, Halborn and Kudelski to assess our security, and published two updated reports performed by Cure53 and Certik this year so far, with more to come.

  • User security features: we have updated our security scanner feature just a few weeks ago, which improves the UX and database accuracy to warn users of risks when sending funds to reported scammy addresses and dApps. We proactively decided to make tools open source and authored EIP-6865 to help the space all become cleaner, which I think security should be a public good that benefits all industry participants and leaves less room for evil to survive.

  • Transparency: Our wallet-core is also open-source, which allows anyone to verify our security measures. We believe that transparency is crucial for building user trust, and we are committed to providing our users with utmost security and peace of mind when using web3 and wallets.

  • User Education: Recognizing that security is a two-way street, we are relentless in educating our users. Through various community channels, we generate educational content to emphasize the importance of personal responsibility in safeguarding private keys.

  • Learning and Growing: While we strive for excellence, we acknowledge that 100% security in the on-chain world may be unattainable. The true measure of our commitment lies in how we learn from each incident, taking full responsibility and turning those lessons into actionable improvements to help our users secure their assets and enrich their Web3 experience.

Ishan Pandey: What are your views on the rise of AI and how it may be used for conducting cybersecurity attacks?

Eowyn Chen: AI holds remarkable potential in various fields, and its rise is a testament to the strides being made in technology. For instance, we use GPT-powered AI bots to support users on 80% of the basic blockchain and decentralized questions that could be solved through education. However, like any potent tool, its use for cybersecurity attacks is a concern. As AI evolves both technologically and regulatory-wise, it's important we maintain a balanced perspective, acknowledging its immense benefits while diligently working to mitigate risks. As with any potential or emerging threat, our security team has their finger on the pulse in this area and we continue to monitor it closely.

Vested Interest Disclosure: This author is an independent contributor publishing via our brand-as-author program. Be it through direct compensation, media partnerships, or networking, the author has a vested interest in the company/ies mentioned in this story. HackerNoon has reviewed the report for quality, but the claims herein belong to the author. #DYOR

Ishan Pandey: How does the Security Scanner feature introduced by Trust Wallet contribute to the evolution of security practices in the world of cryptocurrency?

Eowyn Chen: Security isn't just a feature at Trust Wallet; it's an integral aspect of our mission to foster a safer and more transparent world of cryptocurrency. Hence we continuously try to improve existing features like security scanners to be more accurate and useful for users to make more informed and safer decisions.

  • Automatic scam protection: Users don't need to set up the security scanner. It warns them automatically if they try to send money to a scammer or use a harmful dApp.

  • Transparency and Education: Our Scanner doesn't just identify a threat; it explains why something is being flagged. This transparency ensures that users know more about the underlying risks. It's a step toward building a more knowledgeable and resilient community of users.

  • Data Accuracy: We gather threat data from various sources, including user-reported scammer addresses and malicious DApps. Our dedicated team verifies this information for increased accuracy. This collaborative approach helps keep users and transactions secure.

  • User Autonomy and Control: In line with our commitment to providing a user-centric Web3 experience, Our Security Scanner warns but does not has right to block transactions, giving users the option to proceed or even turn off the feature. It's a delicate balance between safeguarding assets and preserving individual freedom, reflecting the ethos of the decentralized world.

  • Openness and Collaboration: Our approach to security extends beyond our own ecosystem. By embracing open-source principles, we've made strides to foster an industry-wide movement towards standardized and more robust security practices. This spirit of collaboration represents a maturity in how security challenges can be tackled collectively. As mentioned above, we proactively decided to make our transaction simulation tool open source and authored EIP-6865 to help the space become cleaner, which I think security should be a public good that benefits all industry participants and leaves less room for evil to survive.

  • Adaptability and Evolution: Security threats are ever-changing, and so is our Security Scanner. We constantly refine and update it to stay ahead of emerging risks, reflecting our belief that security is a dynamic process that must evolve with the landscape.

Ultimately, user security features like the Security Scanner and transaction simulation serve to build trust and confidence in the Web3 experience. By providing a safe, transparent, and user-friendly tool, we're not just enhancing our own platform but contributing to the broader narrative of credibility and responsibility in the cryptocurrency world.

Ishan Pandey:  Given the constant evolution of cybersecurity threats, how does Trust Wallet plan to continuously adapt and improve the Security Scanner feature to keep up with these changes?

Eowyn Chen: The relentless evolution of cybersecurity threats is indeed a profound challenge, one that demands an equally relentless response. At Trust Wallet, we don't see security as a static feature but as a dynamic, ongoing pursuit. Security Scanner and similar user features will always take an iterative development and update process.

As you mentioned, we've recently launched Security Scanner Version 2. This wasn't just an update; it marked a significant evolution with the introduction of risk descriptions to the addresses, improved risk detection accuracy, and the ability to scan for malicious dApps. For our Android users, this means enhanced protection when accessing potentially scam sites. Currently, the security scanner supports the EVM chains. In the near future, we plan to expand its compatibility to include additional networks, such as Solana, TRON, BTC etc.

This development will provide a more comprehensive security solution, covering a broader range of digital assets and enhancing overall user protection. However, this is just one step in a continuous journey, and we are already hard at work on future iterations.

Ishan Pandey: How might the SEC's potential regulation of cryptocurrencies impact the future development and adoption of these digital assets?

Eowyn Chen: The SEC's potential regulation of cryptocurrencies might be  a pivotal concern for the future of digital assets. On the one hand, clear regulations can foster trust and facilitate wider adoption, bringing Web3 closer to mainstream acceptance. It's an opportunity for the crypto industry to align with established regulatory standards, which can enhance consumer confidence.

On the other hand, inappropriate or overly restrictive regulations may stifle innovation, hampering growth, and potentially pushing activities into less secure environments. This could lead to higher risks for users.

Recent legislative actions, like the "Keep Your Coins Act of 2023," reflect an evolving regulatory landscape and the efforts to establish protective frameworks for digital assets, including self-custody wallets. We believe it's essential for all stakeholders to work collaboratively and communicate effectively to create a balanced and wise regulatory approach that supports innovation while protecting users. The success of cryptocurrencies depends on finding this balance.

Ishan Pandey: How are the roles of governments and regulatory bodies expected to evolve with the growth of the Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrency sectors?

Eowyn Chen: The growth of Web3, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies is nothing short of exciting, but with this innovation comes a real responsibility. Governments and regulatory bodies will inevitably play a crucial role in shaping this new frontier. It's not just about rules and regulations; it's about building a bridge between the traditional world and this emerging technology landscape.

Collaboration is key. We need to work hand-in-hand with regulators to ensure that we're protecting consumers without stifling the creativity that makes this space so vibrant. This isn't a one-size-fits-all situation, and it's our collective responsibility to ensure that we're fostering innovation while keeping an ever-watchful eye on potential risks.

It's a delicate balance, but I firmly believe that with transparent dialogue and a shared commitment to what's best for everyone involved, we can create an environment where Web3 doesn't just grow but thrives. Together, we can push the boundaries of what's possible, and in doing so, shape a future that benefits people all around the world.

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