Xeeda’s Kevin Maloney on Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets
Kevin Maloney is the Founder and CEO of Xeeda, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet specifically designed for smartphones.
Maloney borrows from his experiences as a serial entrepreneur, early-stage investor, and board director who has been involved with eleven early-stage companies. According to the press release, he has successfully raised more than $60 million in capital for private equity companies in industries such as biotech, chemicals, batteries, software, media, mobile, consumer, health food, fintech, and real estate.
Xeeda marks Maloney’s entrance into the blockchain industry. Although currently just in pre-order, Xeeda looks like a pretty nifty gadget.
The current cryptocurrency hardware wallet market is led by products like the Ledger Nano S and Trezor, both of which have proven to be extremely secure and reliable products. However, many beginners find getting set up with either the Ledger or Trezor a fairly intimidating process. Xeeda aims to tackle the user-experience by allowing users to engage with their hardware wallets using their smartphones, a device they already likely have in their pocket.
*Editor’s note: As we haven’t personally used this wallet, we can’t attest to the quality, interface, or security of it. When we do, you’ll see a link to our review here.
How did XEEDA get its name?
We wanted a name that was memorable and would allow us to expand beyond our initial products. We tried several options through informal testing with friends and family and after a bit of time we began to love the sound and modern feel of, X-E-E-D-A. And, we think xeeda.io is a really cool URL.
How does entrepreneurship in the cryptocurrency space contrast with your prior startup experiences?
Every startup I have been involved in requires an incredible ability to maintain focus while being confronted with a continuous stream of obstacles as well as distractions that masquerade as attractive opportunities. Simply put, the cryptocurrency space is all that times 100. For those who navigate their way to success, I believe the rewards will also be orders of magnitude greater than what we have seen in prior disruptive industries.
How do you think XEEDA will accelerate cryptocurrency adoption?
When you look at commerce today, it is clear that Internet usage and the global economy are increasingly driven by communications and transactions via smartphones.
Our ambition is to accelerate digital currency adoption by creating a convenient and secure platform for crypto communities that require direct mobile phone access with an excellent user experience and broad range of useful functionality.
What are the limitations with other hardware wallets that you’re looking to address?
Xeeda is focused on providing secure access to digital currency markets through ease-of-use and mobility using our hardware wallet and integrated app. Users of existing cold wallets have told us that complex setup and transaction processes limit, or even eliminate, their usage. We want to change that.
Additionally, by focusing on ease-of-use, we can minimize unintentional user actions that can open up the potential for security breaches or erroneous transactions that lead to loss of digital currencies.
You’re still in the pre-ordering stages. How can you assure early adopters of your app that your wallets are safe?
Early adopters are our most important customers. Assuring them of the safety and security of all Xeeda products is the result of bringing together our team of brilliant minds with the focused objective to design XEEDA’s architecture, implement hardware, firmware, and software, establish manufacturing processes and standards, and deliver educational content and customer support.
All of our products and business processes have to be optimized together, and then validated through relentless testing. We will be providing ongoing updates to our user community to ensure transparency into our development efforts and core technologies.
How are you guys staying ahead of hackers in the space?
First and foremost, the security experts at XEEDA use industry best practices and devices that conform to the Common Criteria EAL5 or higher. We have studied security lapses in other devices and services to determine what attack vectors have been used and have designed the XEEDA Wallet to be immune to these attacks.
The solution is to not trust others (or other devices, e.g. the smartphone) to keep your data safe but to take control of your data security yourself. With cryptocurrencies, the critical data are your private keys. The XEEDA Hardware Wallet is the simple-to-use device designed to protect your private access keys from anyone not authorized to access it, by you personally. You retain full control of all your private keys on the Xeeda Hardware Wallet.
Your private keys never leave the secure storage in the XEEDA Wallet. When hackers breach your perimeter defenses, such as an iPhone or Android App, your private keys remain safe. They never leave the XEEDA Wallet, and the Wallet itself has built-in two-factor authentication, including biometric authentication.
What happens if a customer’s smartphone gets stolen? While thieves may not be able to access their funds, does the customer lose their wallet and their cryptocurrency?
If a customer’s smartphone is stolen, all of their funds accessed by the Xeeda Hardware Wallet are fully secured and protected. They are not lost, nor can they be stolen. The Xeeda Hardware Wallet requires biometric authentication on the wallet itself and an additional PIN code solely for the wallet. Having physical access to a user’s phone or Xeeda Wallet does not allow access to the user’s keys or funds.
If a customer’s XEEDA Hardware Wallet is lost, stolen or destroyed, you can restore the entire balance on another XEEDA Wallet using your 24-word recovery phrase.
On a personal note, what piqued your interest in the cryptocurrency space?
The cryptocurrency space is creating the unique opportunities in recent history for business and consumers. It is truly an incredible time for anyone who wants to be a leader and contribute to re-inventing business processes that will dramatically improve individual lives globally – especially those in communities that are excluded from or underserved by current economic systems.
What are your goals for the second half of 2018?
We are focused on three main categories: (1) Continue to establish partnerships with the leading exchanges, coins and tokens, and other companies developing innovative Blockchain technologies. (2) Deliver the fully tested and proven XEEDA hardware wallet and App. (3) Provide outstanding customer support to the Xeeda community.
What do you think is in store for cryptocurrency moving forward?
It’s clear that there will continue to be a great deal of change as the cryptocurrency space matures. We expect governments to increase their involvement in various aspects of digital assets and that will require providers and users to act accordingly. Our view is that companies like ours will be critical in balancing the rights of users with requirements that may be imposed by government regulations.
We expect that cryptocurrency will continue to move more into the mainstream. This will require improving ease of use thru devices such as the XEEDA Hardware Wallet, as well as significant improvement in the transaction processing rates of Blockchains.
If you could go back to the beginning, is there anything you would have done differently? What advice would you give your 20-something self?
I like to study the journey to the success of great entrepreneurs throughout the past decades. When you look at the top 5 or so, what stands out is their ability to attract a team that possesses the skills and determination to see the vision through and delivers it to a community of early adopters and passionate customers.
My advice to myself at 20 is when you see something that has the potential to change the world for the better, and it interests you, dive in full force and become a leader by building a great team and attracting early customers and credible partners to innovate for and test with.
To accomplish that, you need to deliver value to customers and partners that no one else but you and your team can provide; because no person or organization is as focused, determined and capable as you and your team.
I would also say, fail quickly and often, never give up, iterate until you get traction, and share every success with your team.
Anything else you would like our readers to know?
Well, your readers are great people, the best in the cryptocurrency space, so I’d like to invite everyone to join the XEEDA community, follow our progress and become an early customer. You can get started by visiting our site.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex also advises blockchain startups, enterprise organizations, and ICOs on content strategy, marketing, and business development. He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.