Two Big Crypto Startups Are Out to Build One Universal Wallet

If the future is to bring an endless variety of cryptocurrencies and tokens, the world will need a wallet that can hold them all.

Now, two of the most prominent startups in the sector are teaming up to entice developers to build just that. Announced Wednesday, decentralized internet startup Blockstack (through its venture capital fund, the Blockstack Signature Fund) and exchange platform ShapeShift are jointly offering a $50,000 bounty to the team or developer that makes the best open-source “universal” crypto wallet.

Contestants need to use Blockstack’s authentication, storage and encryption technology combined with ShapeShift’s API for token exchange. The goal is to build a wallet that supports almost any native token, even tokens that haven’t been created yet, before the deadline on June 29.

Xan Ditkoff, a growth partner at Blockstack and producer at Blockstack’s Signature Fund, explained:

“We’re super early in this space. There are undoubtedly winners that have yet to even appear yet. It’s important that a wallet can support digital assets that have yet to be created.”

Most cryptocurrency wallets only support at most a handful of tokens, forcing enthusiasts to juggle multiple wallets and sometimes keep their tokens on custodial platforms like exchanges.

The Jaxx wallet added ShapeShift support in 2016, although that wallet provider is known to have some security vulnerabilities. Plus, it can’t support all tokens the way this upcoming wallet aims to.

Hedging bets

Notably, the partnership says much about the changing demands of crypto consumers, as it grew out of Blockstack’s concern that not supporting certain coins could cost developer interest.

“You shouldn’t be deterred from building on Blockstack just because your community’s atomic unit of use, or wealth, or whatever, your token, isn’t represented on our platform,” Ditkoff told CoinDesk…

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