Ecosystem Zoom Out Ep. 1 — Pillar & WalletConnect

Written by
Savannah Lee
Writer, Content Marketing
October 4, 2019

As the Pillar Platform grows its ecosystem of products, services, and breakthrough technical integrations, we want to celebrate and showcase the minds behind the code.

It has always been our hope and longterm ambition to create *the* digital dashboard for your entire life — one which puts you in control of your data, finances and daily interactions.

But we cannot grow this Pillar Ecosystem — a continuously expanding hub for everything DeFi and beyond — without the support and collaboration of many talented and diverse teams working from all corners of the blockchain space.

Our product is open-source and collaborative by design. As the Pillar Platform grows its ecosystem of products, services, and breakthrough technical integrations, we want to celebrate and showcase the minds behind the code.

First up — WalletConnect

While in Berlin for Blockchain Week, we got to spend some time with Pedro Gomes from the WalletConnect team to discuss their backstory, latest updates and future plans.

WalletConnect is an open protocol that easily connects your mobile wallet to desktop dApps via QR code.

It was a particularly exciting feature for the Pillar team to implement back in May. As a relatively new development, we were among the first wallets to offer it to their community.

The end-game for almost every blockchain team is to transform the technology into a delightfully human-readable format. Before now it’s been typically clunky, slow and ‘user-approachable’ - rather than user-friendly. We need to inspire people to transition from everyday apps to their decentralised counterparts — dApps.

The WalletConnect team started to hypothesize ways to make utility tokens actually useful and therefore help cryptocurrency be at the core of some functioning use cases. To achieve this, users, their wallets and dApps should all be connected to the Ethereum blockchain seamlessly.

Pedro used to work with cryptocurrency wallets, but realised there was no such solution which provided minimal friction for users. While there were certain tools around, such as desktop-only Metamask, there was no way to ‘bridge the gap’ between your mobile wallet and browser dApps safely.

That’s how WalletConnect was born. Today it is ‘Opening up a whole world of Dapps’ and is used by all kinds of Ethereum wallets and exchanges.

Why is it useful for Pillar users?

WalletConnect was designed to help users better manage and secure their private keys. It provides an end-to-end encrypted communication channel so that you can interact with dApps safely by never ever having to actually leave your wallet.

For example, when you create a new Pillar Wallet, your private keys are encrypted within your mobile device. You can then use your wallet to interact with any desktop dApp that has WalletConnect integrated with it, such as MetaMask.

This helps you protect and limit the exposure of your private keys as much as possible. Using your unique QR code to connect means you don’t have to copy and paste your keys in web browsers or when moving between devices.

What else can WalletConnect do?

Pedro and the WalletConnect team has digested many different use cases, adapting their unique solution for other projects to serve entirely different industries and communities.

In the case of Pillar, our focus on self-sovereign identity also enabled the team to create different tools and infrastructure for our particular identify-focused use case.

As the decentralized economy grows, wallets will be designed for all kinds of different reasons. As a result, there will be more and more experiences built around these individual wallets. WalletConnect won’t just be an Ethereum protocol, but will eventually become a multi-blockchain protocol. And with the development of DID authentication, people can one day even use this protocol to apply for university or register at the hospital!

But for now, WalletConnect is helping to push forward the DeFi ecosystem, working with teams who are building e-commerce platforms, payment solutions and next-gen financial instruments.

What’s next?

Pedro says that the problems they had one year ago are (thanksfully) no longer challenges at all. They’ve created new standards together, developing original protocols which provide an entirely new and seamless user experience for the entire Ethereum industry.

Luckily for us, Pedro is also excited about smart contract wallets — where users will one day be able to store and manage their identity, and even share their identity between different dApps using just one wallet!

If you’re curious about Pillar Smart Wallet, check out the live demo here.

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