Torus, a key-management startup offering one-click logins for decentralized apps (dapps), launched out of beta Thursday and announced eight initial hosting partners for its Web 3.0 product.
Alongside Torus itself, Binance, Ethereum Name Service (ENS), Etherscan, Matic Network, Ontology, Skale, Tendermint Core and Zilliqa will be running nodes supporting the decentralized login system.
The move positions Torus among a handful of startups offering simple login solutions for the web’s next, decentralized chapter.
An emerging vision of the internet, Web 3.0 enables users to hold personal data independently of major corporations without sacrificing speed or efficacy. To date, however, using such services has been clunky at best.
Like cryptocurrency itself, users are still required to hold a private key to login into dapps – a stick in the spokes for most consumers who are liable to lose the string of letters and numbers comprising a private key.
Torus confronts this reality by combining mainstream login applications with private keys, Torus CEO Zhen Yu Yong said in a phone interview.
Torus raised a $2 million seed round in July 2019, led by Multicoin Capital and joined by notables including Coinbase Ventures and Binance Labs. Yong said Torus allows users to log into any Web 3.0 application with the same speed as the current internet’s OAuth protocol, without compromising security.
Torus is also available for Web 2.0 applications such as Google and has recently added five one-click partners including Facebook, Twitch and Discord, Yong said. The startup has over 100 total partnering applications to date.
Notably, users can send crypto to friends who do not yet have a crypto wallet. ERC-20 tokens can be sent via Gmail, for example, and claimed once the recipient creates an account with the startup.
Unlike other decentralized login startups, Torus does not sacrifice censorship resistance for usability, Yong said.
“The difference between us and [other projects] is they are all using a password manager model,” he said. “While they can’t outright keep your key, it's not quite censorship-resistant – they can withhold your key from you.”
Implementing its own version of decentralized custodianship, private keys are broken apart and stored on the network’s node partners as opposed to one central entity, Yong explained. Binance and others will receive portions of fees from subscribing dapps such as crypto exchange DDEX, he added.
Yong said Torus is looking to add more partners in the coming year as well as issue a token for the network, although he declined to give a definitive timeline.
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