imToken CEO Ben: Time is Ripe to Break Crypto Wallet Trilemma

imToken
imToken
Published in
5 min readApr 20

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imToken is delighted to participate and co-host the “Web3 Financial Infrastructure: Digital Wallet and DID” session at the 2023 Hong Kong Web3 Festival with Wanxiang Blockchain Labs and HashKey Group.

Breaking Wallet Trilemma: Balancing UX, Security, and Scalability in the Decentralized Era

The Web3 Festival, a novel Web3 event brand, is held in Hong Kong with the aim of focusing on key topics within the domain, inviting top global projects and investment institutions to share cutting-edge technologies and insights. Additionally, regulatory representatives are invited to provide a thorough analysis of regulatory policies, delineating development boundaries.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong stated at the inauguration of the Web 3.0 Association: “To fully unlock the potential of Web3 and its related technologies, it is crucial to establish suitable regulations for the market, thus making Hong Kong the premier hub for virtual asset businesses.”

imToken wallet held three keynote speeches during the Festival, with core content as follows:

Breaking Wallet Trilemma: Balancing UX, Security, and Scalability in the Decentralized Era

This speech was delivered by imToken CEO Ben.

Web3 wallets currently face three major challenges: user experience, security, and scalability. User experience is hindered by unfamiliar technologies, while security is crucial due to the value associated with blockchains and the varying degrees of security needed for the protocol and application layers. Furthermore, current blockchain performance and costs are inadequate to meet the needs of millions of users, leading to an “impossible trilemma” relationship among these three issues.

Wallet Trilemma: User Experience, Scalability, Security

For a considerable period, this problem was insoluble. We could make breakthroughs in one or two aspects, but inevitably sacrifice others. As such, we strive to find a balance between the three while seeking technological breakthroughs.

The blockchain ecosystem has progressed significantly in experience, scalability, and security. Notably, Rollup, data sharding, and modular application chains have made advancements in scalability and operability, while MPC and TSS technologies provide enhanced overall account security. ENS, .bit, DID, and other account abstraction technologies improve user experience and offer more possibilities for customization.

However, these technologies still have limitations. For example, ENS still needs improvement in user experience and security risks, while Rollup still has centralization issues. Is there a more effective method besides extending the triangle to achieve a better balance?

Drawing on its extensive wallet experience spanning seven years, imToken proposes a layered architecture solution. By viewing the “two-dimensional” problem from a three-dimensional perspective, we position private keys as the core layer, chains as the network layer, and accounts as the access layer. By establishing a series of guiding principles, we can weigh and make trade-offs for different user scenarios to achieve greater balance.

Access Layer, Network Layer, and Core Layer

For different scenarios:

  1. Newcomers: They wish to quickly create wallets and start using them for free. In this case, the user experience is crucial, and we can improve it by hiding private keys, waiving mining fees, and other measures. On the network layer, users can directly access Layer 2 or Layer 3. The core layer can employ mature WebAuthn technology for seamless security protection.
  2. Deep DApp explorers: They need convenient, fast, and low-cost networks. In this case, the core layer can protect user account security through social recovery and risk control. The user experience layer can offer convenient operations, such as multi-step execution and multiple provider access. The network layer can continue to adopt multiple chains and networks for user convenience.
  3. Asset management users: They require isolated multi-signature accounts and prioritize asset security. In this case, most activities take place on Layer 1, and users are not particularly sensitive to mining fees. The paramount concern is providing the highest level of security protection.
  4. Payment: A smooth experience is essential and must be integrated with real-life situations. In this case, mining fees are not required, and large-scale scalability on Layer 3 must be achieved.
One Wallet for Different Scenarios

To address the issue of account fragmentation across different scenarios, imToken proposes a unified account system. By introducing the concept of Universal Account, we eliminate the differences between multiple chains and networks, improving the fragmented user experience. By integrating various technical solutions and hiding complexity, we provide users with a friendly and easy-to-use system.

Web3 Payments: Transforming the Way People And Businesses Handle Money And Transactions

Scaling the Next-Generation Wallet: How Crypto Payment is Leading the Way

These two speeches were delivered by imToken VP & RIVO GM Chuck and imToken Chief Architect Kai, respectively.

imToken believes that payment scenarios are key use cases for expanding the next-generation wallet. Payments require high scalability; following the multi-stage rocket approach, each layer accelerates from Layer N … to Layer 3, Layer 2, and finally, Layer 1, to meet payment demands on blockchain network performance.

RIVO is a new brand being incubated by imToken, which will focus on payment. We believe that paying by crypto is not necessarily equivalent to Web3 payment. Web3 payment consists of four fundamental elements: proof of ownership, payment authorization, medium of exchange, and network, which are added with decentralization, smart contracts, and tokenization. With these properties, RIVO will help consumers and merchants step into a new era of handling money and transactions.

Paying by Crypto is not equal to Web3 Payment

In Conclusion

imToken believes that as technology continues to develop, and under clear guiding principles, it is possible to break through the wallet trilemma. Users can utilize blockchain technology in various life scenarios, particularly in daily payments, to seamlessly access the Web3 world anytime, anywhere.

Moreover, we eagerly anticipate the steady and orderly development of Web3 under the support and appropriate regulation of the Hong Kong government.

About imToken

imToken is a decentralized digital wallet used to manage and safeguard a wide range of blockchain- and token-based assets, identities, and data. Since its founding in 2016, it has helped its users transact and exchange billions of dollars in value across more than 150 countries around the world.

As part of imToken Lab, we research innovations such as MPC and AA and will have major progress to look forward to in the new year.

⬇️Download imToken: Google Play | Apple App Store

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imToken
imToken

Wallet for Ethereum ETH, Bitcoin BTC, Arbitrum, Optimism, zkSync, Aztec, Polkadot DOT, Kusama KSM, LTC, EOS, Tron TRX, Cosmos ATOM, BCH, Nervos and more