Crypto Wallet Zengo Launches Pro Membership With Additional Security Features |  TechCrunch

Crypto Wallet Zengo Launches Pro Membership With Additional Security Features | TechCrunch

Image credits: ZenGo

Mobile cryptocurrency wallet Zengo has introduced a handful of new features combined with a new premium subscription called Zengo Pro which costs $20 per month. This new optional subscription offers additional security features for users who are crypto-heavy or really concerned about security in general, basic accounts remain free, and the app has been redesigned as well.

As a reminder, Zengo is a self-custody wallet that uses multi-party computing. Unlike Metamask, a Zengo wallet cannot be recovered using a seed phrase. This is important if you want to avoid phishing scams. And unlike centralized exchanges like Coinbase, Zengo doesn’t control your cryptocurrencies.

If you wish to initiate a transaction from your Zengo wallet, all parties must approve the transaction. In that case, the secret share stored on the device and the secret share stored on the Zengos server are required.

If you lose your phone or it stops working, you can recover your Zengo wallet to a new phone using the recovery file stored in one of your online cloud storage accounts, such as iCloud Drive or Dropbox. You also have to confirm the action from your email box and scan your face more afterwards.

And things have been working out well for Zengo as the company has managed to attract more than a million downloads. Collectively, Zengo users have processed more than $1 billion in transaction volume.

But what we’ve learned over the years is that there were a lot of use cases where security just wasn’t fixed, co-founder and CEO Ouriel Ohayon told me.

What we have decided to do is launch a suite of security services called Zengo Pro, which is a paid subscription that brings these innovations to all blockchains. This could be solved by some services on certain blockchains, but in our case it is bundled.

Protection of biometric withdrawal and legacy transfer

In particular, Zengo identified two pain points that are rarely addressed by crypto wallets. First, what if someone steals your phone? As the Wall Street Journal already reported, if someone has access to your phone and knows your passcode, they can easily steal money from your financial apps and ruin your digital life.

With Zengo Pro, users can enable another level of security for outgoing transactions. When you first create your Zengo wallet, the company scans your face and stores a 3D scan of your face. This is not FaceID, it uses FaceTec software technology for that function.

Zengo Pro users can request a facial scan for outgoing transaction. That way, even if your roommate knows your passcode, they can’t empty your wallet behind your back. And if you’re looking to send money to a scam, Zengo will also warn you with a new risk assessment system (a so-called web3 firewall).

Secondly, Zengo will be introducing a legacy transfer feature in the coming weeks. The problem with inheritance is simple. What happens if you die physically or digitally? Ohayon said. There are extremely expensive solutions involving lawyers or notaries.

With Zengo Pro, the company wants to create a software solution that is easier to set up. A user can invite someone they trust to be their previous contact. The other person should install Zengo first. Both users will then receive a shared secret that they can store on an online storage service like Dropbox.

After a predefined idle phase, the cryptographic assets are automatically transferred to the legacy contact. The maximum inactivity setting is 24 months without opening the app at least once.

And yes, if the user dies and the Zengo Pro subscription cannot be renewed because the payment method no longer works, Zengo will still transfer the resources after the inactivity phase.

In the future, Zengo also plans to add additional features to its pro subscription. Paid users can also contact customer support more easily. The legacy system will also be improved with the ability to add several contacts and define a breakdown.

Most wallet companies have business models that have shown their limits, including Ledger and including us until now. How do you create a recurring, predictable revenue stream that aligns interests with user interests without artificially trying to add fees here and there? Ohayon said.

And this is the key to understanding Zengo Pro. Many cryptocurrency companies generate more revenue when there is more trading activity. This creates a certain seasonality and it can be more difficult to survive during cryptocurrency winters.

That’s also likely why Zengo has secured additional funding from new and existing investors, but the company won’t share in the amount raised beyond the millions of dollars. Yat Siu, CEO of Animoca Brands, is investing in the crypto wallet for the first time.

Because creating a wallet is expensive. Here, we bring an innovative business model that allows us to create a recurring and sustainable model controlled by the portfolio company, Ohayon said.

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