The Future(s) of Cyberwallets

The Next Email Address Will Be Your Wallet Address


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The word wallet originated in the late 14th century, meaning "bag" or "knapsack", or from the Proto-Germanic term "wall" which meaning "to turn or revolve." The ancient Greek word kibisis, said to describe the pouch carried by the god Hermes and the sack in which the mythical hero Perseus carried the severed head of the monster Medusa, has been typically translated as "wallet".

Wallets were originally used by early Industrial Americans and carrying a wallet on one's belt was considered "semi-civilized" in America. However, in general, carrying goods or a wallet in one's pocket was mostly considered uncivilized and uncommon throughout the 19th century.

The modern definition of a wallet as a "flat case for carrying paper money" was first recorded in 1834 in the USA. In addition to money or currency, a wallet was also used for carrying dried meat, rations, treasures, and things that were not to be exposed.

As time passed, wallets evolved and became more functional. They started being used for carrying other items such as credit cards, driver's licenses, IDs, and other important documents. Today, wallets have become an essential item in people's everyday lives, and they continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of consumers. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, wallets have also adapted to store digital assets and provide secure storage of private keys, which are essential to access and manage cryptocurrency holdings.


The Browser Wars, Web1, A New Hope

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It is a forecast of mine that the Future(s) of the crypto wallet will mimic the early Internet browser wars. I am sure some of you remember the browser wars. The browser wars referred to a period of intense competition between Netscape and Microsoft over which web browser would dominate the market. They started in the mid-90s, when the world was just starting to come online. The browser was and still is a powerful gateway to the digital world.

A lot was at stake, as the company which controlled this browser could have a huge influence over its users. Search engines would bid to be the default search tool in the browser, while other companies would bid to be listed in the default set of preinstalled bookmarks that came with the browser.

Fast forward 25 years and crypto wallets are the new gate keepers to the future services. Crypto wallets are more than applications on a phone that hold your cryptocurrencies. They are future ecosystems that enable access to a variety of services that include wealth management, trading, insurance and payments, identity and social media.

And now the crypto wallet makers’ are in position to define the gateways to the decentralized web. The next stage for wallets will be to perform crucial functions with the ability to surf a directory of dApps, buy and sell tokens, manage collectibles, pay for things, verify identity and log onto social media sites, without ever leaving the app.


The digital ID wallet sector is expected to boom in the next decade, providing customers with a countless digital ID options.

The global crypto wallet market size was valued at $6.97 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand from 24.4% from 2022 to 2030. Crypto wallets keep cryptocurrency safe and secure by storing their private keys in the wallet. They also allow sending, receiving, and spending of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Crypto holdings are stored on the blockchain and can only be accessed using private keys stored in crypto wallets. These private keys are proof of ownership, and hence protecting them is essential. The robust security provided by the crypto wallets is expected to propel the demand for crypto wallets, thereby driving the future market growth.

As digital ID wallets gain adoption, governments will be incentivized to get on board, partnering with fintechs or launching their own digital ID wallets.

  • In January 2020, Burger King announced that it would start accommodating cryptocurrency payments in selected restaurants in Venezuela. This initiative helped the citizens who is struggling with hyperinflation. Future(s) strategic initiatives like these encourage the use of cryptocurrency and private crypto wallets, thereby fueling the market's growth.
  • Many multinational conglomerates like MasterCard, Bank of America and Rakuten have set out to develop cryptocurrency wallets, to take advantage of growing market opportunities.
  • Smartphone manufacturers have moved into position too. Samsung, HTC and several other startups have introduced smartphones with cryptocurrency wallets.

If implemented well, these universal digital identities have the potential to significantly reduce fraud and crime rates in all transactions and travel.

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A positive Signal of the Future(s) is with the company, CLEAR. Remember them?

Just in case, at the airport, a registered user goes to the CLEAR branded lane, steps up to the pod and scans their boarding pass. You’ll then be prompted to verify that you are you with your either your eyes or fingerprint. Once verified, a CLEAR Ambassador will escort you to the front for the physical screening.

CLEAR had its best quarter ever for total bookings, which accounted for just shy of $123M and nearly doubling the corresponding quarter in its FY 2021 and a 13.5% increase from the preceding quarter’s $90.5M in revenue.

Another Signal is a Web3 wallet startup called Scrimmage, that rewards sports bettors with cryptocurrency, has raised a $600,000 pre-seed round ahead of the company’s launch planned for later this year on the Google Play Store and the Apple iStore.

A hypothetical Future(s) vision could be a fan placing a successful bet in a sports’ branded app, collect their winnings in the app’s digital wallet, then use those winnings to buy food, souvenirs, (hard or soft), such as NFTs directly at the stadium.

And we have (play on words), Instagram. Meta announced they are developing an NFT minting and sales feature through its app which will include an upcoming “end-to-end toolkit” for NFTs will allow users to create and launch their own NFTs for sale through Instagram’s network.

In addition, the painful but consistent applications of AR/XR, may play a significant role in our adoption of avatars and the construction of our digital twin identity as we elect to take new shapes and forms while connecting with others online.

The recent H&M’s Loooptopia Experience was an immersive, 3D experience filled with social interaction, engaging environments, mini-games, styling sessions, alternate worlds, events and more. It allows users to experiment with their digital identity and learn about fashion and circular business in a fun, creative and playful environment on the Roblox platform that's connecting millions of people through immersive shared experiences, all while encouraging creativity and self-expression.

The current and near Future(s) wallet security solutions must be adequate while playing in larger networks AND behind participating behind the firewall platforms.

Either way, a working cyber wallet needs to act as your ultimate digital twin regardless of where you are on the planet.


Bridging Web3 and Web2

The decentralized finance industry (Web3, crypto, dApps, proto-metaverse, NFTs, smart contracts, etc.) will struggle until its workflows and processes are incorporated into mainstream Web2 apps, websites and at the end of the day wallets. With the increasing traction of cryptocurrency, cybercrime threats are also increasing. The impending dangers of stolen privacy keys drive the adoption of more secure hardware crypto wallets, thereby driving the growth of the cryptocurrency hardware wallet market. Strong government regulation and policies will be required to manage privacy and the risks associated with digital wallet IDs.

Crypto wallets come in many forms, including hardware or mobile wallets.

The Hot wallet segment dominated the market in 2022 and accounted for a revenue share of more than 55%. Hot wallets are connected to the internet, and they are more user-friendly. The increasing smartphone and internet penetration, coupled with the rising awareness about cryptocurrency, is driving adoption of the hot wallet. Accessibility and efficiency offered by the hot wallet are driving their adoption between cryptocurrency users.

The Solution - You Are the Key

The monopoly of persistent identity is the real engine of Facebook’s remarkable success. And its fragile. Combined with the normal tests we used to prove who we are in digital world, such as passwords and captchas, no longer work well. Now, humans have trouble solving them, while machines find it easier, and passwords are easily hacked or stolen. So, what is the better solution than passwords.

YOU, yourself.

Your body is and will be your password. Your digital identity key will be YOU. All the tools that new tech is exploiting, all the ways it needs to capture your movements, to follow your eyes, to decipher your emotions, to compress YOU as much as possible so you can be transported into another realm and believe you are there. All these interactions will be unique to YOU and therefore proof of YOU.

YOU should know that your voice and your heartbeat are unique, your gate when you walk is distinctive. How YOU sit, how YOU blink and your typing rhythm on a keyboard is distinctive as are what words YOU use most frequently. Almost everything that we can measure can be turned into a personally unique fingerprint.

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Need to Start Somewhere - What is Self-Sovereign Identity?

Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is a model for managing digital identities in which individuals or businesses have sole ownership over the ability to control their accounts and personal data. Individuals with SSI can store their data to their device(s) and provide it for verification and transactions without the need to rely upon a central repository of data. With SSI, users have complete control over how their personal information is kept and used.

In all models of identity management, a digital identity requires identifiers that ensure users are who they say they are. With SSI, however, identifiers do not need an intermediary. This means a user's SSI can be registered to a claim, such as a block on a blockchain. The person can then share that identifying data when making a transaction, for example, with a bank.

The history of the wallet has come a long way from the physical leather wallets of the past to today's cyber wallets. With the advancements in technology and the rise of the Proto-Metaverse and Third Connected age, the way we store and access our financial assets is changing rapidly. The evolution of the wallet is just one example of the deep transformational trends that are taking place across all industries.

That's why I invite you to register for my Next Frontiers workshop, where you or your team members will learn how to identify and evaluate changes like this and how they may impact your business, customers, and even your legacy. Together, we can imagine and delve into new future(s) and make informed decisions about the way you and your team’s may want to explore.


Sign up today and be at the forefront of shaping the future of finance and beyond.