As the world moves toward a more digital future, the concept of Web3 and its potential to revolutionize the internet has become a hot topic in the tech industry. In this interview, SafePal CEO Veronica Wong, shares her insights on the future of Web3 and the current state of the crypto market.
She also talks about her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in the crypto security space and how SafePal is positioning itself to meet these challenges head-on.
Q: In 2022 the crypto space saw some significant turbulence and the crash of several big platforms. What do users need to know entering 2023 as crypto investors, and how can they better protect their digital assets?
While black swan events damaged the general faith in crypto, a large part of it was due to the opacity and malpractice of centralized platforms, and not an accurate reflection of the industry as a whole.
Crypto is still a nascent industry, and risk management and diversification are always important. Investors should do thorough research before jumping in blindly or taking the advice of influencers.
Battle-tested and established platforms may not be as exciting as new projects, but they are often safer, so investors need to weigh out risks and rewards in accordance with their risk appetite.
Q: Will 2023 bring a new wave of adoption for Web3? Are customers turning to self-custodial wallets now after the crash of one of the biggest centralized exchanges?
The malpractice of centralized platforms has indeed catalyzed the adoption of self-custody solutions. This should not just be a temporary surge of interest, but a key impetus to strengthen the adoption of self-management for assets — which has often been neglected but is a key foundation of crypto.
While self-custody is liberating, this also means users have to be responsible for safeguarding their assets against malicious attacks and adhere to best practices encompassing wallet hygiene, security measures and more.
Developers should improve UI, UX and security, but users also have to put in the effort to read educational resources to improve their understanding and awareness.
Q: What does SafePal do to ensure the safety of its customers’ assets?
SafePal’s flagship S1 hardware wallet keeps private keys fully offline with an air-gapped signing mechanism and an anti-tampering self-erasing mechanism for added security.
We work closely with external security institutions like CertiK to evaluate products and have a blacklisting mechanism to mitigate user exposure to malicious 3rd-party DApps — with 1500 taken down last year. SafePal is also stringent with listing screening processes, and selection of ecological and campaign partners.
As a crypto wallet suite, education is equally vital to building safe products for users. Guides are shared regularly via our channels, and we engage our community actively with AMAs.
Q: Despite the cold blows of crypto winter, will 2023 bring a revitalized interest in the space?
The general economic outlook is still recovering, but efforts in the development of meaningful crypto projects continue. Advancements in MPC technology and account abstraction improve usability and security, while solutions like EIP4844 bring about more affordable gas fees, which lowers barriers to adoption and scalability.
We’re also starting to see the “Wallet Wars” emerge — as more companies dive into creating their own versions, with crypto wallets popping up like mushrooms everywhere.
This is a positive trend as it showcases an industry-wide recognition of the importance of self-custody, driving innovation and value for users which will ultimately revitalize interest this year.
Q: Even in this rough climate, SafePal expanded its user base more than twofold to over 7 million users globally. What are the biggest achievements and the biggest challenges you faced in 2022?
Along with the growth of our user base, we’ve remained at the forefront of cross-chain interoperability by supporting 55 blockchain networks and their native tokens, and we also launched our browser extension in July last year to become a fully comprehensive crypto wallet suite.
It has been challenging to offer quality hardware, software and browser extension product lines at the same time, but this has allowed us to compete with the likes of Ledger and MetaMask as few platforms have the required resources and expertise.
We’ve also remained profitable while scaling our team globally for the past 3 years.
Q: What are your plans for this year? Any ambitious goals you’re looking forward to reaching in the upcoming months?
SafePal is blessed to celebrate its 5th year anniversary, despite the challenges faced by the industry last year. We will not rest on our laurels and aim to grow our user base aggressively by continuing to improve the quality and functionality of our products.
Plans to achieve this include implementing social logins and recovery to improve accessibility and security continued efforts to become open-source, and more. We’re also looking to add features to help users better manage their NFTs and combat the targeted scams and exploits which are on the rise.
Blockchain integrations and meaningful partnerships with leading platforms will remain part of our core efforts. We will also continue scaling our team internationally to strengthen our community and address language barriers for our increasingly global user base.
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