A businessman touching a digital lock

Alex Agut on ‘keyless’ HandCash: It’s our job to build trust relationship with our users

HandCash is addressing one of Bitcoin’s biggest pain points—recovery phrases. In this interview, we caught up with HandCash CEO Alex Agut to learn more about the latest HandCash updates, such as keyless HandCash, the HandCash web app, and the HandCash Connect SDK, as well as when you can expect them to go live.

What inspired HandCash to go keyless?

I would say we were forced to. It really hurts every time you open an email to learn that one of your users has lost his or her money—to us that’s unacceptable; and “we are non-custodial” or “you accepted our terms of service” is just an excuse. It is our job to build a trust relationship with our users, and we couldn’t fail them any longer—despite having to reinvent the wheel this time to make it possible.

What are the benefits of a keyless wallet?

The most obvious one is that every account that’s created, is immediately backed up and recoverable with the same credentials that created it. But the benefit that will have the most impact in the long run is that with this cloud wallet architecture transaction signing is happening on the cloud, not on the user’s device or web browser. This allows payments to be triggered without the user being online, makes our Connect SDK platform independent so you can build a Bitcoin app on any mobile device, desktop, web, raspberry, IOT device, on a hacked console or even on a smart fridge if you want to. All of this while remaining non-custodial. That’s awesome.

When can we expect the HandCash 2.5 update?

Early-to-mid October.

What is the HandCash Connect SDK and when can we expect that to be released?

Connect is a toolset for building Bitcoin apps on any platform. It provides you with a login system so your users can link their HandCash wallets, all kinds of specialized payments like escrows, bids or time based payments, as well as encryption and signing capabilities for data authoring and privacy features. 

What is HandCash for the web? What inspired it, and when can we expect it to launch?

HandCash for the web will begin as a simplified version of the HandCash wallet we all know and love. It will evolve in parallel with the mobile wallet into what we call “the 3.0” which is the version that better represents what we imagine HandCash to be. The thing is that it’s very different from our current app so we decided to launch a 2.5 focused on Connect + Keyless before we move to the more revolutionary app. People don’t handle sudden changes very well!

If we want HandCash to be “everywhere you go” we obviously needed a web version too, after all, internally we never refer to HandCash as a wallet but as an “account”. HandCash for the web should be available the same day we launch 2.5 for the mobile with one particularity: it will only work with keyless accounts—if you want to use your current $handle on the web you first need to update your HandCash mobile app into 2.5 and verify your email address. That’s all.

What is the HandCash team currently working on?

Right now we are 100% focused on making Connect and the whole interplay with HandCash and the Trustholder as stable as possible and optimizing performance. We realized that the two factors for us for entering the market of Bitcoin apps again after being out of it for over a year were reliability (users) and performance (developers)—so we’re focusing on nailing down those two as much as we can. We expect HandCash interplay with Connect to be flawless after a month or two from launch. Obviously we haven’t tested with tens of thousands of users at the same time yet, but we keep improving day by day thanks to the internal beta integration program. Companies are happy so far.

What does HandCash have in store for the future? What can the audience/consumers look forward to from HandCash?

There is still a challenge we have been tackling for a while which is fiat ramps. To be honest we’re pretty disappointed to see that in three years nobody has done anything in this regard yet. We don’t want to build everything by ourselves but we feel we’re forced to. Current fiat ramps are not suited at all for a micropayments environment, and that’s the biggest bottleneck we have now. We have a blueprint of the technical solution and we think it’s the way fiat ramps should be made. It’s not sending a man to the Moon, it’s pretty simple and the tech is out there, but exchanges are just focused on providing liquidity to scammy online casinos instead of providing tools for micropayments startups. 

Are there any final words/thoughts that you’d like to provide?

I’d like to see more collaboration on Bitcoin SV. Competition itself is a pretty stupid idea if you think about it, more so when there’s no market to compete for. We better start working together on things that really move the needle (modern fiat ramps, stablecoins, business models…) instead of creating 10 alternatives to Paymail or 100 copies of existing apps. The amount of brainpower we have in BSV is incredible, it would be a shame to see it go to waste.

YouTube video

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.