Introducing Argent

The Argent team has been hard at work these last few months but I haven’t taken the time to publicly share details on what we’re building and why. In the coming weeks the team and I will start sharing more about our product and the complex technical challenges we’re tackling.

So, what is Argent? Argent is the safest and simplest way to access the next era of the internet — the decentralised web.

Below is why I’m so excited about starting this new journey with my co-Founders Gerald and Julien.

Power to the people — We need a less centralised internet

Tim Berners-Lee recently said: “I wouldn’t say the internet has failed with a capital F, but it has failed to deliver the positive, constructive society many of us had hoped for”.

The internet has become too centralised. It’s dominated by a few tech giants with a stranglehold on people’s data. This has a real impact on lives, as the Equifax and Cambridge Analytica scandals highlight.

We believe change is possible.

Empowerment through decentralisation

We want to take the best of the existing internet — the efficiency, user experience and global reach — and combine it with the new: decentralised applications that give people control of their data, assets and identity.

We’re aware decentralisation is not a panacea. But we’re determined to help fulfil its promise of:

  • Better security through fewer vast, vulnerable silos of data
  • More trust between users, developers and platforms
  • More innovation as open communities with aligned interests work together
  • More control in people’s hands

We must also be realistic though: billions of users will never adopt the decentralised web unless there’s a radical improvement in its usability.

Decentralisation must be easy to use

The decentralised web is frustratingly difficult for most people to access. You have to understand complicated concepts such as cryptographic keys, addresses and gas.

Need a wallet? First, create a key pair, then back it up on a piece of paper. Make lots of copies so you don’t lose it but not so many it gets compromised.

Want to make a transaction? Set the gas price (not too low but not too high) and include the 40 character hexadecimal address. One typo and your funds are gone!

In short, existing decentralised solutions for holding and using cryptocurrencies range “from challenging to downright absurd. The nightmare stories of stolen, lost and forgotten passwords include trawling through toxic landfill sites and hiring “crypto hypnotists”. Centralised alternatives are available but they limit your freedom and pose significant security risks.

And don’t get me started on trying to use an actual decentralised application (Dapp).

This situation will never lead to mass adoption, as Vitalik Buterin and Alex Van de Sande have repeatedly highlighted.

Vitalik in July 2018:

Tyler Cowen: “what’s the biggest tech or engineering breakthrough you need to realise the full vision you started with?

Vitalik Buterin: “…user experience, both user experience in terms of using the blockchain, not being as clunky as it is today, but also user experience of security. How easy is it to set up a wallet that does not allow all of your money to get stolen or lost overnight if your key gets lost or stolen? Those are challenges that I do think we need a lot more innovation in…

This is where Argent comes in

We’re building the gateway to the decentralised web — and we’re ensuring it’s accessible to everyone.

Argent gives you control over three core components:

  1. Identity — Grant Dapps access to your identity and data, revoking it whenever you want
  2. Assets — Safely hold and use your crypto assets
  3. Trust — Ensure trusted and secure interactions with Dapps and other users

We believe you shouldn’t need to understand blockchain to benefit from it, just as you don’t need to know about HTTP to shop on Amazon. That’s why we’ve been solving complex technical problems to make Argent as simple as possible:

  • No more backing up your seed phrase on paper
  • No more losing money because of a typo
  • No more worrying about gas
  • Complete recovery of your funds if you lose your private key
  • The ability to seamlessly interact with Dapps

Argent is as frictionless as the best mobile apps yet as safe as a hardware wallet. And it’s completely decentralised.

We believe this is a critical piece of the infrastructure needed for mass adoption of the decentralised web.

We’ll share more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter.