Since the Bitcoin white paper was published in October of 2008, tens of thousands of developers and hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in cryptocurrencies, yet only 3.9% of the global population owns them. Over the past 5 years during this last cycle, the total market cap has gone from $50bn to as high as $2.9tn and is currently sitting just under $1tn. Out of all the financial and human capital invested in the industry, the wallet management segment is expected to be the fastest-growing part of the market going forward, even as the number of Blockchain wallet users has increased by more than 80x in the last decade.
As humans we often look for parallels in framing new concepts or ideas, and one of the items we’ve frequently debated is what is a crypto wallet? When analyzing wallet adoption compared to previous technology paradigms, crypto wallets don’t have a perfect parallel from web2 as they have a combination of functionality that spans login with Google, pay with PayPal, and the Apple app store, combining identity, payments, financial services, and application exploration. Since the transition to mobile as a computing platform, and the increased penetration of smartphones globally, fintech entrepreneurs and investors have been focused on the concept of the phone as a new bank account, and while fintech have strong progress in helping to democratize financial services, 1.7bn in the world still do not have access to a proper bank account. With new crypto financial market infrastructure, a crypto wallet that has global appeal can go a long way in improving experiences for the banked and underbanked, while offering connectivity to the global financial grid for the unbanked.
There are two primary types of crypto wallets — hosted wallets & self-custody wallets, and the most popular and easy-to-set up crypto wallet has historically been a hosted wallet where you can buy crypto using an app like Coinbase, where your crypto is subsequently held. The main benefit of keeping your crypto in a hosted wallet is that if you forget your password for your wallet, you won’t lose your crypto. A drawback to a hosted wallet is the counter-party risk you are introducing which has garnered front-page news with high profile bankruptcies involving crypto platforms, which could end in the loss of customer funds. Hosted wallets are also unable to offer everything that crypto has to offer such as access to yield farming, staking, lending, borrowing and more. A non-custodial wallet, or “self-custody wallet,” puts individuals in control of their crypto assets, and have become the entry point to Web3 and decentralized finance.
Enter Clutch Wallet — a user friendly non-custodial crypto wallet where you can securely store digital assets. Clutch Wallet leads with a seamless and simple user experience, driven by social engagement and an integrated and gamified education platform. Clutch is addressing the barriers that first-time users currently face in participating in crypto by building a wallet that has beautiful UI / UX, diversified messaging and branding, integrated education, tools to invest, and an emphasis on community, while also appealing to existing crypto users with aggregation functionality. The long-term vision of Clutch is to be the go-to platform to empower people in web3 by providing them the gateway with tools and education to confidently invest, shape the future of finance, and interact with new dApps, all while having autonomy over their own assets, data, and identity.
The crypto market has garnered significant attention from the investment community, with VC’s investing $33bn in crypto & blockchain startups in 2021, and an incremental $9.7bn during the first half of 2022. However, less than 5% of crypto entrepreneurs are women and only 15% of bitcoin investors are women. At the Female Innovators Lab by Barclays and Anthemis, we believe in the importance of removing barriers to financial access and driving capital across founders with diversified backgrounds. We see an opportunity for Clutch Wallet to break down barriers for first time crypto users, women & unbanked populations globally, particularly as the company is led by three extraordinary co-founders — Bec Jones (CEO), James Kouzinas (CFO / COO) & Sheela Vats (CTO) — serial entrepreneurs with a prior exit, fintech & crypto backgrounds, and experience in building communities.
We are incredibly proud to have led the pre-seed round for Clutch Wallet and support the team on their next phase!