Amid the growing trend toward self-custody, the CEO of the maker of hardware wallets Trezor, Matej Zak, has highlighted the most relevant development vector for the company so far: improving usability to significantly increase the number of users in the coming years.
Speaking to Cointelegraph at the BTC Prague 2023 conference on June 9, Zak said: “Educate hard and build easy” is Trezor’s most relevant strategy in developing its hardware wallets amid the growing demand for self-custody.
“You have to explain what self-custody is because it’s still a different concept. It’s nothing that existed before Bitcoin, and Bitcoin has only been around since 2009,” he added.
While allowing investors to be their own banks, the self-custody concept also makes users the sole entity responsible for the security of their Bitcoin (BTC). The most important part of this responsibility is keeping your private key, or seed phrase, safe and secure.
According to Zak, security, privacy and ease of use have always been key elements of self-custody in the Trezor proposition. “But usability plays a really important role”, stated the CEO, adding that Trezor continues to try to make its hardware wallets as user-friendly as possible. The executive added:
“Usability is where you want to make things easier, simpler to use. So all those people coming from the exchanges can feel at home and not be afraid of losing their private keys.”
By increasing usability, Trezor hopes to double or even triple the number of hardware wallet users around the world in the next three to four years. Citing some estimates, Zak said that less than 2% of the 420 million cryptocurrency users worldwide currently use hardware wallets.
Focusing on usability is part of the reason why Zak believes that complicated self-custody wallet setups, such as multisig or multisig, may not be the best solution for newcomers to the industry.
Unlike standard Bitcoin wallet setups, multisig implies the use of more than one public key to authorize a transaction, which is designed to increase the security of self-custody.
“Security at the expense of usability comes at the expense of security”Zak said, referring to a quote from Bounce Security CEO Avi Douglen.
Although it focuses on usability and education, Trezor does not plan to introduce new built-in features to help users recover their private keys.
According to the CEO, Trezor has gone to great lengths to help its clients secure their seed phrases. Zak mentioned implementations like Shamir’s backup, which is often used to distribute the private keyphrase between different locations. Introduced by Trezor in 2019, Shamir backup is designed to keep users’ Bitcoin safe from theft or accidents.
“There’s nothing we can improve in this regard because the usability is good,” he said.
The Trezor CEO’s remarks come a few weeks after competing hardware wallet provider Ledger mocked a new tool that allows users to recover their private keys. Following criticism from the cryptocurrency community, the company postponed the release of Ledger Recover, with its CEO, Pascal Gauthier, stating that it had been a “humiliating experience” and the result of a communication error.
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