If you have experience with Bitcoin, and even if you’re just starting out, you probably know that there are a variety of Bitcoin wallets available. There are web based wallets such as Mycelium and AirBitz, and there are desktop wallets like Electrum and MultiBit, and finally there are hardware wallets like the Trezor and Ledger Nano S. And they all serve the purpose of storing your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
There are pros and cons to each type of wallet, as well as to each individual wallet. Some provide tighter security, some have multisig capabilities and some are designed to provide the best user experience. While hardware wallets and desktop wallets are considered to be the most secure, there’s no doubt that in our increasingly on-the-go world a mobile wallet is the most useful to the majority of people.
In fact, some would argue that mobile wallets should be the top priority for developers. That some day soon everyone will need a secure and easy to use mobile wallet as we transition to a world where cryptocurrencies can be used for everyday purchases almost everywhere. There are many candidates that could see further development, but today I want to talk about what could be the top iOS wallet already.
This wallet is now known simply as Bread, having been rebranded from Breadwallet in August 2017.
Bread is more than just a mobile wallet though. It is a decentralized financial services company, even though it’s humble beginnings came from the 2014 launch of the Breadwallet. Building on the success of this mobile only, and up until recently Bitcoin only, wallet the company is looking to expand itself. It has aspirations to become a digital banking platform, which will allow users far more flexibility with their cryptocurrency holdings. According to the Bread website:
“We believe in the value of financial freedom and independence, and want to empower people across the globe by leveraging the possibilities bitcoin provides. Whether it’s bringing financial services to the unbanked, making advancements in the future of money, or providing new capabilities that were previously thought impossible, we put our passion into our work and it shows.”
One day, Bread will provide every user with their own miniature bank, right on their smartphone. Part of the plan to accomplish this included the December 2017 launch of their own coin – the Bread (BRD) coin. Their token sale raised $32 million in capital, which is being deployed to help further the realization of an ambitious roadmap.
Bread Development and Platform
The Breadwallet, which was recently shortened to just Bread or BRD, is a mobile wallet that works for both iOS and Android devices, and can be downloaded for free from both the Apple Store and Google Play. It was developed to be more secure than other mobile wallets, and while it was initially a standalone Bitcoin-only wallet, that has since expanded to include both Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. Private keys remain secured because Bread works with no central server. Instead it leverages Simple Payment Verification to allow the client to connect with the Bitcoin network directly, via the mobile device.
In addition to keeping private keys secure, Bread was also developed with code signatures, hardware encryption and app sandboxing, thus keeping user devices safe from malware. It also avoids browser security holes, and is safe from even physical theft of the device. Bread comes with all the following improvements versus competing mobile wallets:
- Private keys reside only on your own device
- No central server means no hacking or system outages
- SPV gives fast, secure mobile performance
- Single recovery phrase that works forever
- Open source code publically verifiable
- The ability to import password protected paper wallets
- “Payment protocol” payee identity certification
As mentioned above, Bread recently added support for both Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum, and as of May 1, 2018 with the Augustus update it also supports the top 100 ERC-20 tokens.
Bread Token Aspirations
While Breadwallet began as a simple Bitcoin mobile wallet, the company has grown into far greater aspirations. This has led to the rebranding from Breadwallet to Bread, as wella s the release of the BRD token. Bread is now aspiring to become a mobile financial platform, a bank in your pocket so to speak, with a focus on peer-to-peer banking and payments.
This quote from the Bread whitepaper explains the goal Bread is working towards:
“In the same way that Uber is the largest transportation company that owns no vehicles and Airbnb is the largest hotel company that owns no buildings, Bread is on its way to becoming the largest financial institution that controls no customer funds.”
The Future of Bread
Bread has ambitious plans, and according to their whitepaper here is what users can expect in the coming months:
Decentralized Asset Exchange (DEX): Bread is building a decentralized exchange that will allow Bread users to trade assets with other users via atomic swaps that do away with the need for trust or knowledge of the other party. Bread will include as many assets as is feasible given the laws and regulations of each users jurisdiction.
Payments Platform: The Bread wallet will be able to store user information on the user device, allowing for secure, trustless payments to third parties.
Portfolio Management: Bread will eventually be rolling out a portfolio management platform, similar in design to those found in the traditional investment industry, enabling the trade and management of assets. It’s even possible that in addition to monitoring their holdings thorough the platform users will be able to participate in ICOs.
Additional Financial Services: Bread is planning on releasing features that will mimic those available through traditional banks. This is meant to include bill payment solutions, loans via peer-to-peer lending, long-term savings accounts, and even direct deposit of user salaries in the form of cryptocurrency.
Based on the roadmap put out by Bread, most of the above features will be coming throughout 2018. With over 500,000 downloads already, Bread could explode once it launches a decentralized asset exchange and payments platform.
The Bread Team
The team behind bread has combined decades of cryptocurrency experience and knowledge, with most coming from technology backgrounds initially, and almost all having been involved with Bitcoin right from its beginnings. With four years under their belt building bread to what it is today, the road forward should see accelerated growth.
One of the top advisors to Bread is Litecoin creator Charlie Lee and recently Bread has joined the W3Cs Web Payments Working Group. This group of technology leaders such as Apple and Google are working to develop a new payment protocol API that will be included in popular web browsers worldwide.
The Bread Token (BRD)
The BRD token was released in December 2017, with funds from the ICO going towards future development costs. It is a utility token, and so far there are plans to offer users discounts on selected services in the Bread ecosystem, but otherwise the development team has been somewhat vague regarding the utility of the BRD token.
Considering Bread is looking to offer banking services it will be interesting to see if they eventually offer some sort of staking option, where holders will receive something like “interest payments” on their BRD holdings.
As of May 1, 2018 BRD has a market capitalization of just over $72 million, with a circulating supply of 88,862,718 BRD and a total supply of 88,862,718 BRD.
Bread, which started as the simple mobile Bitcoin wallet Breadwallet, has certainly come a long way from its beginnings in 2014. The company has ambitious plans, and if they can bring them to fruition this could become a game-changing platform.
The wallet itself has long been a popular choice for Bitcoiners and with the addition of Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and over 100 ERC-20 tokens the adoption rate should increase dramatically. There are a lot of features being planned for the coming year, and so far the team is on track to hit those targets. Increased adoption rates and the planned new features could see BRD becoming one of the top tokens in 2018 and beyond.