Luis Ocegueda, Engineering Lead at Trust Wallet: Security Professional Explains How Self-Custody of Digital Assets Can Be Made More Intuitive for Consumers

We recently connected with Luis Ocegueda, Engineering Lead at Trust Wallet, which claims to be the world’s most trusted and secure crypto wallet with 60 million+ downloads. It’s worth noting that, earlier this year, Trust Wallet did experience certain security issues, leading to a considerable amount of user funds being at risk.

Luis has commented on how self-custody of digital assets can be challenging, but it can be made easier and more accessible for cryptocurrency users with Trust Wallet. Luis also shared insights on important developments in the DeFi space as well as the broader crypto and blockchain sector.

Our discussion has been shared below.

Crowdfund Insider: Please tell us about your professional background and your role in the Trust Wallet team.

Luis Ocegueda: Currently, I’m leading the Engineering Team at Trust Wallet, a multi-chain self-custody wallet serving tens of millions of users worldwide. Prior to Trust Wallet, I had experience building security solutions and infrastructure in crypto, fintech, defense, and e-commerce industries. Trust Wallet provides users access to over 70 blockchains, NFTs on 10 chains, and over 10M digital assets.

We’re the No. 1 on mobile wallets, and top tier for web extensions with 1 million installs since the extension’s Nov 2022 launch. Basically, we’re making it simpler, safer, and more convenient to experience Web3, access dApps securely, store and manage crypto and NFTs, and buy, sell, and stake crypto to earn yield, all in one place.

Crowdfund Insider: Self-custody in crypto is still in its nascent stage, as new users require extensive knowledge in the field to store their funds safely. How does Trust Wallet make self-custody easier and more convenient for its users?

Luis Ocegueda: We see a growing interest in self-custody. To break down the current barriers to mass adoption, Trust Wallet is working in the following ways:

Usability and User Experience: Some self-custody wallets still have complex user interfaces and processes that can be overwhelming for non-crypto natives. Trust Wallet simplifies the user experience and broadens adoption with a user-friendly wallet setup, multiple safe recovery methods, etc. It works with various protocols and networks, allowing users to interact with different chains and DApps seamlessly What’s more, users can easily do in-app staking and generate tax reports.

Education and Awareness: Lack of awareness and understanding about self-custody is a barrier to adoption. We provide educational resources and community initiatives to bridge the knowledge gap about self-custody, security best practices, and wallet usage. Community members and support channels such as Telegram play an active role in contributing feedback, and shaping the future of Trust Wallet.

Security and Fears: Addressing security concerns and implementing robust security measures and guidance is crucial to instilling trust and confidence in the next wave of users. Trust Wallet conducts security audits and works with third-party experts, and we built-in tools like security scanner.

Compliance/Regulation: Overcoming the trust barrier and demonstrating the benefits and security advantages of self-custody are essential for widespread adoption. Trust Wallet considers security, privacy, and ease of use as the three biggest considerations for product design. However, these principles require balanced trade-offs. Security is the foundation and the most important thing. Once you break security, trust is broken. Privacy is also a core priority, as social engineering is a huge part of the weakness of security. Finally, ease of use is part of the genetics of Trust Wallet’s product. It does not sacrifice security, privacy, and full ownership in the process.

Crowdfund Insider: Could you explain how Trust Wallet ensures the security of its users’ private keys, especially with the increasing prevalence of hacking and cyber attacks in the crypto industry?

Luis Ocegueda: Trust Wallet has a strong commitment to security, and we want to reassure users that Trust Wallet’s mobile app and browser extension are safe to use.

What we have done on security: Increasing our security audits and audit coverage to +30 a year, published one report performed by Certik and Cure53 this year; Engaged multiple top-tier, third-party external auditors to assess our security; Extraordinary precautions to avoid private keys leaking. Security features, eg Involving Security Scanner to warn users of risks and other security features on the product roadmap.

User Education is also crucial, we keep educating users via multiple community channels and generating educational content to let them know the importance of keeping their own private key.

At the same time, we have to admit there is no 100% security in the on-chain world, but the more important thing is we learn from each incident and take responsibility to help our users better secure their assets and Web3 experience.

Crowdfund Insider: Trust Wallet recently launched its browser extension to boost DeFi adoption. How does Trust Wallet’s browser extension intend to improve on some of the existing DeFi solutions or expand its services?

Luis Ocegueda: As we all know, Trust Wallet is the largest mobile multi-chain wallet by user base. After launching the extension last year, we quickly rose to and maintained a top tier position within several months. Our team thinks the reason for this is simple: users find our product simple and easy to use, and they trust our brand.

Currently, due to the nature of the scenario, some users still prefer to interact with dApps on the web when performing on-chain interactions. Currently, we’re the only one on leading wallets who are supporting the BTC network, we’re supporting more than 70 chains, e.g. non-EVM networks like Solana, which tremendously help users enjoy all on-chain world within one wallet.

Our goal is not only to support retail user usage but also to become a cross-chain dApp deployment tool for developers to develop products better. I think Overall, everything we do is to meet the needs of our users.

Crowdfund Insider: On-chain security is an important feature in the DeFi ecosystem, and Trust Wallet has been at the forefront of championing safe and secure transactions. Launching the Trust Wallet security scanner feature last year was a big milestone in achieving this. Could you explain to our readers what the security scanner is all about and how it will contribute to Trust Wallet’s growth and development?

Luis Ocegueda: The Trust Wallet Security Scanner is a built-in security feature that proactively informs users of risky transactions while keeping users in full control of their assets. so each transaction is assigned a risk level, and the app proactively alerts users via a warning message, allowing users to make more informed decisions.

Our focus is to help users better detect on-chain scams and malicious activities, which may lower the entrance for users to enter the decentralized world, and better secure their assets’ security.

Crowdfund Insider: You’ve also recently launched a new version of the security scanner recently. What new exciting features have been added to the latest version, and what impact will they have in improving Trust Wallet?

Luis Ocegueda: More transparency. We share notes that explain why something is flagged as risky to users scanning for malicious dApps previous version only focused on whether users transfer to externally owned addresses, but the new version will flag existing malicious contracts to flag risks.

As I mentioned above, we hope it will be one of the crucial steps to highly lower the entrance for users.

It’s been two weeks since the launch of the latest version of the security scanner. Could you explain how Trust Wallet users have received the innovation and how you could improve the platform when the next version updates are released?

In our new Security Scanner we’ve improved the accuracy of our scanner which results in lower false positives which increase the probability of users taking the appropriate actions, we introduced dApp URL scanning to warn users of malicious/fraudulent dApps, we localized the warning to our users into 9 languages, we’ve improved the warning to increase the appropriate action from users.

Apart from securing users’ funds, Trust Wallet offers a wide range of features for users, including the integration of Binance Pay and Coinbase Pay in November last year. Could you talk us through some of the additional features that Trust Wallet offers?

Except for “transferring from CEX” easily, we have enabled users to convert between crypto and fiat within Trust Wallet by working with multiple partners like Moonpay, Ramp, and Binance Connect. It allows users to move in and out of crypto solely through their self-custody wallet having full ownership of their assets, without relying on a centralized exchange.

And we also launched the Tax tool to help organize tax responsibilities for our users.
We added Dev tools to the Browser Extension to satisfy our developer needs with testnets, faucets, and advanced logging.

We added Ledger Hardware Wallet Support. We’ve also added Custom Chains for EVM and Cosmos ecosystems. We’ve extended our Staking offering to include a large number of Cosmos-like blockchains. We introduced Cloud Backup which allows our users a flexible option to recover their wallet.

Crowdfund Insider: Finally, what do you think of the current DeFi ecosystem, and where do you see the sector in the next decade?

Luis Ocegueda: The DeFi ecosystem, despite several challenges, continues to innovate and demonstrate it’s here to stay. In the next 10 years, DeFi will reach mainstream adoption. You’re already seeing major TradFi institutions embracing DeFi, and this trend will not only continue, but it’ll accelerate.

We’ll see more novel and sophisticated financial products to benefit a large number of users, everything from lending, fundraising, tokenization assets, insurance, and many more applications. I also believe DeFi will be recognized as a critical component of a healthy financial system.

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