Privy - Reimagining the web3 onboarding experience

Welcome to Loop Crypto’s Customer Spotlight series. In these blog posts, we highlight the amazing companies that Loop works with. In this edition, we’re excited to showcase Privy who recently onboarded to Loop to enable recurring crypto subscription payments. Privy is simplifying the web3 onboarding experience to bring the next wave of users to web3 consumer applications.

Introduction

If you’ve spent the last two months hopping between crypto conferences in Singapore, Austin, and New York, you’ve likely heard this repeated theme that the web3 onboarding experience is too difficult. We as an industry, as the line goes, need to make things easier if we expect a wave of new adoption. It’s a point well taken. 

Amidst the conversations about the difficulties of web3 onboarding, however, there was constant chatter about friend.tech. Love it or hate it, most on the crypto conference circuit could agree that friend.tech was able to unlock viral adoption because it cracked the web3 onboarding experience. With one click and a referral code, you were in. No scribbling a private key on a piece of paper or getting stuck trying to bridge funds across chains. It was seamless as could be, and this was largely thanks to a company few had heard of, Privy.

That has now changed. Privy is the talk of the town across the crypto world as its web3 onboarding solutions have demonstrated how simplicity can transform the adoption of web3 consumer applications.

Who is Privy?

Privy was founded in 2021 by Asta Li and Henri Stern. Both have deep technical backgrounds. Henri had spent years working in the crypto space, mostly at Protocol Labs, where he focused on building consensus algorithms for Filecoin. Between his time in crypto and his graduate studies, he became focused on the idea of data privacy and thinking through how the worlds of on-chain and off-chain data will converge. With stints at Uber and Aurora, Asta had extensive experience in machine learning working with large, complicated data sets. The two met and quickly honed in on two core challenges in web3: (1) user experience and (2) privacy.

In interviews and podcasts, you’ll hear Henri mention the idea of “hybrid stacks,” the concept that we are increasingly moving toward a world where on-chain and off-chain systems need to interact. It is a challenge that most of us building in web3 face. Every piece of data cannot, and probably should not, live on-chain. As the world of hybrid stacks begins to emerge, Asta and Henri realized developers would need tooling to build fluid onboarding experiences that could straddle the on-chain and off-chain worlds. Hence, Privy was born with the goal of providing a “single library to onboard all your users to web3.”

It’s an ambitious goal to provide a platform that developers can use to create onboarding experiences that cater to the particular needs of their application. Rather than being wallet-centric (i.e., everything should just work with MetaMask), it is flipping that paradigm upside down. Wallet systems and infrastructure need to be adaptable to serve the specific needs of applications that are using them.

This mindset of application first, wallet second, led the Privy team to design a suite of products that includes both wallet connectors and embedded wallet solutions. This allows them to provide an onboarding suite for both crypto-native power users who may show up with their own third-party wallets (e.g., MetaMask, Rainbow, Coinbase, etc.) as well as more web2-oriented folks who may want to sign in with Google and not deal with the hassle of creating a wallet. Privy’s business lead Max Segall explained it like this:

“Any app that's built on a blockchain can use Privy. You integrate us once and you can onboard anyone. From a complete newcomer to crypto who’s never heard of web3 to the crypto-native who is fluent in interacting with a range of wallets.”

Privy is making the hard things about web3 easy and allowing developers to focus on building consumer applications to onboard more users to web3. This is exactly what happened recently in the case of friend.tech.

How is Privy used?

Privy provides the infrastructure that undergirds the onboarding experience of friend.tech. If you’ve played around with friend.tech, you know that it’s really simple to start using. Upon arriving on the landing page, users can authenticate via SMS, Google, or Apple. In the background, Privy is helping friend.tech spin up a self-custodial wallet for each new user (for more information on how Privy embedded wallets work, check out this overview). Without necessarily realizing they are interacting with a blockchain, users are able to store and trade their friend.tech “keys” as they use the app.

We won’t spend too long diving into the intricacies of friend.tech, but needless to say, it’s a critical example of what web3 going mainstream can look like. Of course, Privy has not stopped with friend.tech. They work with a range of other great projects like Blackbird, Courtyard.io, and Shibuya. You may not see Privy’s logo plastered across web3 applications, but their onboarding infrastructure can increasingly be found under the hood of emerging applications that are bridging the on-chain and off-chain worlds.

Conclusion

As noted above, Privy is enabling a world where individuals of varying degrees of crypto literacy can use and benefit from blockchain technology. At Loop Crypto, we share a similar vision when it comes to crypto payments. We believe crypto offers a faster, lower cost, and more transparent payment rail. In the future, most payments will run on crypto rails, but most consumers will not realize this as we continue to improve user experience and abstract away complexity, just like Privy has done with wallet architecture.

We’re excited to have Privy onboard with Loop Crypto. They are now enabling their customers to pay for their suite of products using crypto. Stay tuned for a case study that will drop soon explaining why Privy chose Loop and how Loop is helping them scale by enabling recurring crypto payments.

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About Loop

Loop Crypto makes it simple to collect and pay in crypto by allowing companies to turn on autopay and schedule payments. Built by web3 veterans, Loop unlocks payment automation to reduce customer churn and eliminate time-consuming payment collection and follow-up. By connecting on-chain and off-chain data, Loop streamlines invoice reconciliation, accounting, and fits seamlessly into your financial stack.

Loop crypto is programmable payments.

Are you ready to supercharge your payments? Book a call with Jeff, our Head of Business Operations, or head to our docs to learn more.

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© Loop Crypto 2024. All rights reserved.

© Loop Crypto 2024. All rights reserved.

© Loop Crypto 2024. All rights reserved.