A noncustodial smart wallet for both cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications has sealed fresh funding as its attempts to challenge existing offerings in the industry.
Speaking to Cointelegraph on March 9, Itamar Lesuisse, the co-founder and CEO of the wallet’s developer, Argent, revealed that the London-based startup had raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by the Sequoia Capital-backed fund Paradigm.
Paradigm is led by Coinbase’s co-founder Fred Ehrsam and ex-Sequoia partner Matt Huang. This week’s funding for Argent apparently represents the fund’s first investment in Europe.
The simplicity of traditional finance apps
Lesuisse outlined that the Argent wallet aims to address concerns over security and user control, noting that “until now, crypto users have had to choose between hardware wallets, vulnerable mobile wallets or trusting a custodian.”
The wallet aims to provide the same design simplicity that challenger bank apps like Revolut or Monzo have been offering their clients. Argent has introduced daily transfer limits and large transfer approval, removed seed phrases and gas, as well as simplifying access to Dapps.
Yet, even as it takes on board the ease-of-use offered by such banking apps, Lesuisse wrote:
“We don't see the crypto offerings of Revolut or Robinhood as competitive. Argent is for controlling and using your own crypto, not just getting a little speculative exposure.”
While platforms such as Revolut — which do support cryptocurrency trading alongside fiat accounts — can “help introduce crypto to a more mainstream audience,” he said, their main use for the industry is as a bridge.
As users become more familiar with crypto, Lesuisse expects users to “migrate to non-custodial wallets that offer more control, and more use cases.”
Overall, Argent has raised $16 million since its launch in December 2017, and has seen a 330% growth in wallets with assets over the past six months.
New interfaces for the DeFi space
Last year, Argent integrated the MakerDAO protocol with the aim of extending its useability for the decentralized finance market and simplifying users’ ability to open MakerDAO Collateralized Debt Positions.
Collateralized Debt Positions are smart contracts integral to the Dai stablecoin system, which enable users to borrow Dai stablecoins using their Ether (ETH) as collateral.
DeFi, meanwhile, refers to any financial software based on the blockchain that focuses on digital asset or smart contract applications, such as decentralized credit and lending systems, predictions markets and asset management.
Last month, Cointelegraph reported on the latest developments in the DeFi ecosystem, including DeFi wallets such as MetaMask and Balance.