Crypto wallet Beam, which is backed by notable digital asset investors, such as venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and the investment arm of Coinbase (COIN), went live on Thursday.
Beam was developed by fintech firm Eco, the developer of a protocol of the same name. The wallet will support the protocol's native token ECO and stablecoin USDC, according to an emailed announcement on Thursday.
Where most wallets require signing up, performing a degree of know-your-customer (KYC) checks, Beam users can send payments simply by using a link to a QR code. Thus it is aiming to create the closest possible equivalent to using crypto like cash.
The wallet is built on Ethereum layer-2 blockchains Optimism and Coinbase's Base, the latter of which is set for a public launch next month.
Eco said Beam was made possible by Ethereum's ERC-4337 implementation, which is seen as a key enhancement that could make it easier for users to recover crypto if they lose private keys to an online wallet, and Optimism's "Superchain" initiative, which is meant to greatly increase transaction speeds and reduce fees.
Simplifying the process of sending and receiving crypto is one of several problems which could pave the way an acceleration in mainstream adoption, which many developers are exploring solving. In March, the Wallet bot on messaging app Telegram enabled cryptocurrency to be sent in chats, with the facility for merchants to accept payments added earlier this month.
Eco raised around $95 million across five funding rounds between September 2019 and July 2021, with Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital among the investors, as well as a16z and Coinbase Ventures.
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