Crypto wallets have an interesting history, and it is also one of the critical elements of getting new users on board to the world of Cryptocurrency and Web 3.0.
Crypto wallets are not just digital storage for crypto-assets; they are slowly becoming our digital identity. Products like NFTs, ENS names, Ethereum login, and EVM signing features make a crypto wallet an important part of modern netizens.
Before I dive deep into the ZenGo Crypto wallet, let’s quickly dive into the history of crypto wallets.
When Bitcoin came into existence, Paper wallets were the safest way to store Bitcoin. And setting up a Paper wallet was a challenging task, and perhaps this is why many of us refrained from accumulating Bitcoin back in 2012-2013.
Fast-forward to 2018, eight experts with backgrounds in embedded security, cryptocurrencies, and entrepreneurship met to launch one of the world’s first crypto hardware wallets, Ledger, which became the most popular solution for securely storing cryptoassets.
After that, many mobile and desktop wallets were launched, and some became very popular.
While the world of crypto wallets was evolving, there was one massive hurdle (which is still there) in the mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies. That was handling the security of the Crypto wallet.
The standard way to keep a crypto wallet safe is using the Seed phrase method, which helps generate the public and private keys for a digital wallet.
However, when you think about your parents and non-techie colleagues, setting up a crypto wallet with seed words is overwhelming and a big hurdle in the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.
The world needed a simple solution that perfectly balances security, Usability, and something ideal for mass adoption.
A wallet like ZenGo understands this problem, solves it with its unique security architecture, and offers all the features you expect from a modern crypto wallet. The best part is that this wallet is free and comes with amazing customer support.
In this review of ZenGo wallet, I will not only discuss the features of ZenGo wallet.
I will also highlight the security architecture of this growing Crypto wallet company headquartered in Israel.
In the end, I will also share my final observation to help you make an informed decision about when to use and not to use ZenGo Crypto Wallet.
What is ZenGo Crypto Wallet?
ZenGo Crypto wallet is a non-custodial mobile-only wallet that let you Buy and store unlimited multiple cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos, and 70+ Crypto assets.
What I meant by Non-custodial is; you are in complete ownership of your crypto-assets and are not sharing access to your wallet custody with anyone.
- According to available data, ZenGo’s headquarter is in Tel Aviv., Israel.
- ZenGo wallet is available for iOS and Android devices.
- ZenGo Cryptography is open sourced and codes are audited by 3rd party auditors. You can learn more about it here.
- Includes a built-in Web3 firewall in partnership with leading Web3 security networks (learn more).
What is so special about the ZenGo wallet?
Some standard features like buying and selling crypto, Storing NFTs, and multi-crypto wallets, which you will find in most the wallet. Often it is a matter of preference, which wallet you like more and what features you need the most.
However, high security is the baseline for any crypto wallet. In the case of a self-custodial wallet, it is important to understand how they store the private key and how easy it is to restore the wallet when changing devices or when you wish to migrate your wallet.
ZenGo offers MPC cryptographic architecture claiming to save you from private key vulnerabilities. Instead of relying on popular seed phrase technology to generate and store digital signatures (public and private key), it uses MPC technology which I have explained below.
Secure multiparty computation (MPC) is the leading technology for generating, storing and utilizing cryptographic signing keys that protect digital assets.
ZenGo is one of many crypto-wallet companies using this technology, as other companies like Coinbase utilize the same technology for their Web 3.0 wallet.
I can go in-depth about the benefits of MPC technology, but this article by ZenGo does a better job of explaining the technicalities of MPC cryptographic technology.
Do note that this technology dates back to the 1980s and is utilized by institutions around the globe to secure their vault cryptographically.
How to restore your ZenGo Crypto Wallet?
Most of us using the self-custodial wallet are accustomed to using seed words to restore a wallet. Since the ZenGo crypto wallet does not use the typical seed word security, it is obvious to ask how do we restore your Zengo wallet when we change our device or lose our phone?
The answer to this is the ZenGo recovery kit.
When you set up your Zengo wallet, you are asked to do three important things –
- Your Email account
- Your Face Scan
- Backup recovery file – This file is stored in your cloud server. (Google Drive for Android, iCloud for iOS, or you can take additional back on Dropbox as well)
Note: The backup recovery file is not the private key. Even if it’s stolen, it can’t work in isolation to restore your wallet. Your face scan and email should be used together with this to restore your wallet.
ZenGo is a non-custodial wallet, and they use Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS); when you create an account in ZenGo, there is an RSA key created into your Cloud drive (iCloud or Google Drive, depending on your phone OS), (You should have a folder called “DO NOT DELETE ZenGo Backup” there should be a file in it), This file is the most important thing. Without it, you cannot restore your account.
Additionally, they’ve added new backup options in case something happened to your iCloud account, which you should configure when setting up your ZenGo wallet.
Simply go to your “Account” tab, then “Recovery Kit,” And you should see “Dropbox” and “Google Drive” as options to sync your backup file to., You can make a Dropbox account, sync the Recovery File and share the account with your trusted family member or you can sync the Recovery File to one of their emails, whichever you prefer.
What happens if I lose access to my email account?
You can always add a secondary email account to restore your ZenGo wallet.
What if I lose access to the Backup recovery file?
Your backup recovery file is stored on your phone, and another copy is backed up in your cloud drives such as Google Drive, iCloud, or dropbox. If you lose access to your phone, you can always restore it from your cloud server.
What would happen to Crypto if you died?
When dealing with financial assets, we have to plan for the worst-case scenario. While setting up your ZenGo wallet, you can set up a secondary email and a backup Face scan. You should use the person’s email and Face scan as a backup who will inherit your crypto-asset. The only tricky part is giving them access to your Backup recovery file. They could get it either by unlocking your phone or giving them access to your cloud server.
Note: Take advantage of Apple’s digital legacy feature if you are using an iPhone.
My thoughts: The MPC Cryptographic technology is an alternative to the Seed phrase method of generating the public and private keys. While this is a familiar technology, but not so common right now in the world of Crypto wallets. You should understand the nuances of MPC technology and its benefits over the seed phrase method for generating, storing, and utilizing cryptographic signing keys that protect digital assets.
In short, the problem with the seed phrase method is the single point of failure. You lose access to your entire digital assets when your seed phrase is lost due to phishing, stolen, or by any method.
This has happened many times with the Seed phrase, so there is a big need for an alternate method for generating digital signatures.
Since MPC cryptographic technology does not rely on a single point of failure, your crypto-assets are more secure.
If you have understood how ZenGo wallet handles security and underlying MPC cryptographic technology, let’s discuss the juiciest part of our ZenGo wallet review – Features.
What features make the ZenGo wallet worth your time and money?
Buy Crypto from ZenGo –
ZenGo has partnered with companies like Moonpay, Banxa, and CoinMama to let you buy crypto from the app.
Depending on your location, you can use SEPA (EU), Local Payments (UK), PIX (Brazil), Interac (Canada), iDEAL (Netherlands), OSKO/Pay ID/POLi (Australia), Bank Transfer (Turkey & South Africa) to purchase crypto.
ZenGo also lets you buy cryptocurrencies using a Credit card, Debit card, Apple Pay, or Google pay.
Sell Crypto and receive funds in your Bank account –
You can also sell your crypto directly using the ZenGo wallet and receive funds in your bank account. Per their website, Moonpay, one of the providers, currently has the following features for selling crypto for fiat.
- Spread: Usually 1.5%-3.0%
- Processing fee: 1.99% (with a min. €3.99/£3.99/$3.99 or currency equivalent)
- Gateway fee: 0%
- Minimum: 0.001 BTC, ETH: 0.01, BCH: 0.05, USDC: 30, USDT: 30
Europe: €10k daily, €20k monthly
United Kingdom: £10k daily, £20k monthly
United States: $10k daily, $20k monthly
- Network fee: Yes
Store multi crypto-assets –
ZenGo lets you store BTC, ETH, Matic, and popular ERC20 tokens. I would like them to add support for more crypto assets such as USDT (TRC-20) and more blockchains.
Earn and Staking –
Currently, ZenGo offers the staking of Tezos, and they might be adding support for more staking programs in the coming days. Since they offer the WalletConnect features, you can use any dAPP to stake other popular cryptoassets such as Ethereum or Matic.
Trade feature –
With ZenGo’s built-in trading feature, you can convert one crypto-asset into another. For example, Convert your Bitcoin to Ethereum without moving it to another exchange. The trading fee on ZenGo is 0.5% + network fees. Do note that trades could take up to 5 to 30 minutes to complete (Depending on the assets and market condition).
Note: The trading feature is provided by the ZenGo partner company called Changelly. We reviewed Changelly earlier here.
Store NFTs –
How can a modern wallet exist without offering a feature to store NFTs? With ZenGo wallet, you can receive or send NFTs on Ethereum and Matic chain.
Customer support –
Many of you new to cryptocurrencies often have questions about understanding the world of cryptocurrencies and wallets. ZenGo wallet has an in-built chat feature that let you get support from ZenGo customer support. This feature is essential for beginners taking their baby steps in this world, and as a new user, you might find it super helpful.
1. Zero fees for new users’ first purchase, up to $200 (except Network fees); users that will purchase more than that will pay fees on the remaining amount above
2. The fee for purchasing stablecoins purchase via bank transfers will be only 0.1%
Bank wire transfers for buying are now extended to include: the USA, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Turkey, South Africa, and Brazil.
Conclusion – Is ZenGo wallet worth it?
ZenGo wallet simplifies the security, buying/selling, and storing of supported cryptocurrencies. The MPC technology is helpful to mitigate the single point of failure, and with all the security and backup features, you can set up and use your wallet within 5-10 minutes.
It supports some of the popular crypto-assets like BTC, ETH, and Matic, to name a few, which is ideal for a lot of investors. However, I do feel that they should add more blockchains like FTM, Solana, and Polkadot, to name a few.
However, for a beginner, this wallet is perfect. Especially if you are not very technical and need to get started with a beginner-friendly wallet, ZenGo has you covered. Or, if you need to set up a crypto wallet for your family member who is not so technical, you will find complete value for your time with the ZenGo wallet.
About Harsh Agrawal :
An award-winning blogger with a track record of 14+ years. He has a background in both finance and technology and holds professional qualifications in Information technology.
An international speaker and author who believes in blockchain and the crypto world.
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Harsh has experience of 12+ years in Fintech and 7+ years in Blockchain and Bitcoin. He has also moderated the panel of Blockchain experts and attended international blockchain events like BTCMiami, and Token2049.