Ethereum’s Hottest Wallet App Rainbow Banks Fund Alexis Ohanian – TechCrunch

Startups

As a world of internet users struggles skeptically with the rise of multimillion-dollar JPGs and crypto exchanges funding the celebrity-filled Super Bowl spots, a network of blockchain startups seeks to build friendlier consumer gains into its vision of the crypto internet .

Investors are betting that Ethereum will grow from its wild west routes – with high transaction fees and scammers often running amok – into a network where everyday users can trade safely. Rainbow, a crypto startup building a mobile wallet app that allows users to interact with decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain, aims to be the app users download to tap into that future.

Rainbow feels more like the crypto wallet app that would design a Snap or TikTok with rainbow gradient buttons, emojis galore, and generally a much less sterile feel than its reigning competitor MetaMask, which announced in November it had over 21 million monthly actives. users from 1 million slightly more than a year earlier. Rainbow’s emphasis on design doesn’t mean it shuns the complexity of the crypto ecosystem; the app allows users to connect to decentralized apps and invest in tokens through decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap.

Rainbow’s goal is to extract as much technical know-how as possible from the process and make things like buying or selling a multi-thousand dollar NFT as simple as tasks like ordering an Uber.

“We try to be the app on everyone’s home screen.” Rainbow co-founder Mike Demarais told TechCrunch in an interview. “Since the beginning we’ve been super design-oriented, and what that really means is that we basically started from scratch and designed the wallet for our needs as builders and users, but what that has become is a departure from previous wallets. which have long been this super-utilitarian, quasi-developer tool.”

The startup tells TechCrunch it has closed an $18 million Series A led by Reddit co-founder Seven Seven Six, co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The round closed last October and followed a $1.5 million starting round.

The central challenge for the new wave of consumer-friendly wallets such as Rainbow or Solana-based competitor Phantom is to build a consumer gateway where users are not only comfortable buying tokens in-app, but are also able to snooping into the unknown without feeling like they need to call a technician who can read a smart contract from EVM.

“We’re at this weird point as an industry where it’s not ready for the mainstream even today,” says Demarais. “In 2017 you had all the engineers from tech companies going into crypto, but now it’s really like the wider tech-savvy public is getting into crypto… There’s still a lot of work to do to make everything super accessible for someone who’s never heard of it. most of these things.”

The startup is still early in that quest, but is making progress to get more users on board. The company recently launched a public beta of the Rainbow app for Android after a long stint as an iOS exclusive experience. The startup focuses heavily on the mobile experience where MetaMask is less prevalent, though they also have a desktop integration in the works.

“None of us would be here without MetaMask… we love MetaMask because it moves space forward, but essentially the name of the game is the app on people’s home screens,” says Demarais. “You’re not going to walk into a coffee shop and pay with MetaMask, that experience sounds nightmarish, like… kill me.”

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