Posted by Ambire Wallet on January 31st, 2022
Our CEO answered community questions about Ambire Wallet and the WALLET token
To celebrate the launch of the WALLET token on Huobi, the exchange hosted a special AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on their official Telegram chat.
The discussion shaped out to be very valuable, so we are sharing it with you here in case you missed it.
Huobi: Ivo Georgiev, please kindly do a short introduction of yourself.
Ivo Georgiev: I am Ivo, the CEO and co-founder of Ambire, and I come from a technical/engineering background.
I have been coding since I was 10 years old, and in that time I have worked in multiple fields, mostly on my own projects: game development, video streaming, cryptography, security and most recently solidity/Ethereum.
I first touched bitcoin around 2011/2012, mining with CPU, then took a bit of a break as I started my career as an entrepreneur, and it all came together again in 2017, when me and my team launched AdEx Network — a decentralized ad network built on Ethereum.
AdEx became the largest payment channel network on Ethereum, and it was one of the first applications of L2 technology.
During this time, and because of our previous products, we learned a lot about UX and also how Ethereum wallets work, and now we are applying this knowledge to Ambire.
Huobi: Please tell us a little bit about the utility of $WALLET? What is it used for?
Ivo Georgiev: $WALLET is quite unique because it’s the first governance token for a mass-consumer wallet.
This allows many unique use cases:
- Voting for future developments and putting up proposals: We all know that most wallets stagnate over the years in terms of features, and we believe that making the wallet community-driven is the way to solve this. We are allowing the Ambire Wallet user to truly own it and contribute to its feature;
- Incentivizing usage: Again related to the first point, we distribute $WALLET tokens to early users. This is a long-term distribution mechanism rather than quick farming. Anyone with balance in their Ambire will receive WALLET for the next 4 years, proportionally to their balance;
- Referral bonuses, gas rebates and other incentive mechanisms.
In short, $WALLET is a governance token, it will control the WalletDAO and determine the future of the product, but also a great growth mechanism for Ambire.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that $ADX stakers also get $WALLET bonuses, as a gesture to our community.
Huobi: How did you decide to create a crypto wallet? Why should we use Ambire and not another wallet?
Ivo Georgiev: That’s a fantastic question! First of all, we should note our experience in the space: we are here since 2017 as a company, some of us individually for much longer.
We have seen many hacks, issues, and UX misunderstandings leading to users losing funds. Almost everyone has a story of losing tokens because they sent to a contract.
All this experience lead to us understanding that UX is the biggest problem of the large crypto wallets such as MetaMask.
But most importantly, Ambire sits in a unique niche. There are 3 categories of wallets:
- UX-focused wallets, those are mainly mobile apps like Argent;
- Key management wallets, like all the browser extensions, MetaMask included;
- Dashboards like Zapper.
Ambire Wallet is the first to combine all those 3 characteristics for a complete, standalone experience, both on desktop, and on mobile.
It’s also a smart wallet, which is a unique new technology allowing for many UX improvements such as smart recovery, paying fees in stablecoins, automatic fee management and others.
Huobi: What are the benefits of smart wallets to regular crypto wallets?
Ivo Georgiev: At Ambire, we really believe smart wallets are the future of the non-custodial EVM Wallets. A smart wallet is basically a smart contract on the Ethereum network that has the following benefits:
- Smart account recovery. Rather than having to write down a seed phrase and use that, you can have other mechanisms, such as social recovery, which makes crypto way more accessible to the public;
- Batching transactions, where one transaction can execute multiple sub-transactions or calls;
- Fee payments in stable coins or even in any ERC-20 token, thus eliminating the need to have ETH in your wallet for that;
- Simplifying ERC20 approvals thanks to batching;
- Replacing and canceling transactions: since effectively we don’t need nonce management, we eliminate stuck transactions;
- Upgradable security: you can easily switch or even combine software wallet with hardware wallet and even email/password account;
- Sandwiching and frontrunning protection.
In short, smart wallets are needed to onboard the next billion crypto users.
We can’t expect everyone to learn what a seed phrase is, learn that they need to have ETH for gas, etc etc.
Huobi: How can a wallet be non-custodial and have an email signup at the same time?
Ivo Georgiev: This is a direct result of using smart wallet technology.
Because Ambire is a smart wallet, we set-up email/password accounts are are actually 2/2 multisignature wallets. As such, they’re entirely non-custodial.
One key is in-browser and password-encrypted, the other is on a hardware security module (HSM) on our backend. You would need both to control the account. With just one of them you can sign time-locked transactions used for recovery: we can explain this later on.
This makes Ambire way different from existing “easy web3” solutions, significantly more secure and trust-minimized.
More importantly though, accounts with only email address and password can never match hardware wallets in terms of security, so they’re more of an ‘onboarding’ tool to help crypto adoption.
Huobi: Can you add additional protection to your wallet? What exactly?
Ivo Georgiev: Ambire supports hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger: for more significant sums, we recommend using Ambire with them.
Not just that — you can add multiple signers to achieve a hybrid security model — e.g. a hardware wallet AND a software wallet; those can be easily enabled or disabled.
For the email/pass accounts, you can also add a 2FA, adding an extra layer of security.
Support for other hardware wallets like is Grid+ Lattice1 coming soon.
Huobi: Is there multisig support and how is it handled?
Ivo Georgiev: It’s worth noting that we use a built-in multisig for the email/passphrase login feature — when you sign up, two keys get generated: one gets generated on the client side (in a form of a JSON file), using your email/passphrase and an extra seed as entropy, and another key is generated on the Ambire backend (hardware secure module).
More importantly though, again thanks to Ambire being a smart wallet, you can add the Gnosis Safe as your only signer in the Ambire account, making it effectively a multisig.
Built-in support for customizable multisigs may be coming in the future: it all depends on whether there’s demand for this from our users and the WalletDAO.
Huobi: How do you handle security breaches? What happens if someone hacks your email?
Ivo Georgiev: This is a very interesting topic.
First before answering, once again we must point out that you don’t have to use Ambire with email/password. You can use it with a software wallet (extension) or with a hardware wallet (Trezor/Ledger) just like you’re used to, and we recommend hardware wallets.
However, email/password accounts are a great stepping stone into crypto, and a good fit for many holders.
As we explained earlier, all email/password accounts are 2/2 multisigs. However, you can use only one of the keys to trigger a time-locked transaction.
Based on what actually is breached on your end, you can activate time-locked transactions. Time-locked transactions can be used to recover the account if you forget the password or if our backend is not available. But they also protect from breaches. If your client-side key is compromised and someone tries to attack, you’ll be able to see that and recover your account.
So in the two scenarios:
- You lose access to your email: you can trigger a time-locked transaction only with the password;
- You lose your password: you can trigger a time-locked transaction only with the email.
And after the wait you will recover the account. The wait exists to prevent any hacks. For example, if someone takes over control of one of the keys, you can cancel their timelocked transaction.
Huobi: Do you support NFTs? What can we do with our NFTs on Ambire Wallet?
Ivo Georgiev: Yes! We do, and we have a gorgeous dashboard to visualize them.
It has full support for Ethereum NFTs (EIP 721), but also supports Polygon. We will soon support other networks as well and by doing so we aim to become the one-stop wallet for every NFT collector. On your dashboard you can visualize all of your supported NFTs and manage them in a blink of an eye.
And we’re also working on adding a built-in marketplace.
Huobi: What is gas automation? Why is it important?
Ivo Georgiev: Gas automation is enabled by smart wallets because they add an additional layer (abstraction) on top of the native chain gas auctions (e.g. Ethereum’s EIP1559). This allows paying for the transaction fee in stablecoins, or even paying for the transaction fees on a separate channel (eg a payment channel or another chain), paying in bulk, and other interesting fee systems that can improve UX.
Additionally, transaction fees on Ethereum are split in three separate components: gas limit, max base fee, and max priority fee. Managing these manually is extremely difficult, and while any wallet can fill those in automatically, smart wallets like Ambire allow another entity (called a relayer) to make automatic adjustments to those parameters on the fly as network conditions change, in order to make sure the best balance between speed and price is achieved.
Finally, this level of abstractions allows the relayer to dynamically decide whether to broadcast the transaction to the public mempool or use a private API such as Flashbots to protect the user from front-running and sandwiching.
In short: Gas automation hugely improves the UX of paying gas fees.
Huobi: Will there be any connection with the other Ambire product — Ambire AdEx?
Ivo Georgiev: In Q4 of 2022 we are planning to integrate the Ambire AdEx platform in Ambire Wallet as a plugin.
The Wallet inherited Ambire AdEx’ ability to easily create a crypto wallet with an email/password, so we’re coming full circle by allowing Wallet users to seamlessly interact with AdEx and launch campaigns, as well as earn from ads. This plugin will replace the AdEx Platform and will also introduce a brand-new redesigned user interface, which will make it even easier and faster to create campaigns and to set up ad slots.
Finally, as a gesture to the AdEx community and because of the symbiosis of the two projects, we are distributing 10% of $WALLET to ADX stakers, over time. For this you need to be holding your ADX stake in Ambire Wallet.