Braavos, day 1

Braavos is a self-custodial smart contract-based wallet running on top of StarkNet.
Braavos Nation
• Jul 27, 2022
4 min read
Braavos, day 1


In the past few months, we saw at Braavos things that were hard to imagine just a short while ago.

We saw the Canadian government activate an emergency action against the truckers’ protest in Canada, allowing law enforcement to freeze the bank accounts of protesters without any due process. Not only did this action freeze the protesters’ bank accounts, but it also affected anyone who supported them financially with a donation of more than $25 (and yes, also centralized crypto exchanges had to obey the emergency act).

In today’s world, the consequences of financial de-platforming are crippling. One cannot attain even basic goods, like buying bread at the local grocery, once the cash they have at hand runs out.

It doesn’t matter whether the truckers’ protest was right or wrong, whether it was extremely or only mildly annoying, or whether it was suspicious of breaking the law. The fact that authorities cut people off from the financial system without due process should alarm us all, as these actions deny people their basic democratic rights. In this case, to join their fellow citizens in free and public expression. And this happened in Canada, a solid democracy with human and civil rights, not some third-world country ruled by a tyrant.

Furthermore, we are witnessing the devastating war between Russia and Ukraine, where people from both sides lost access to their hard-earned savings because of a situation not they created and had little control over. When needed to flee a war zone, they’ve done so without the ability to access even a fraction of the funds they have in their bank accounts.

Braavos’ Mission

All this solidifies our belief that people should hold at least a portion of their funds in self-custody.

But let’s face it, the user experience of self-custody solutions today is bad. It is complex and deterring (private-key? seed phrase?), it is frightening (if I lose the piece of paper I wrote the 12 words seed phrase on, all my money is gone? if someone gets a hold of it, all my money is gone?) it is extremely error prone and has no check and balances that can protect the user.

No wonder 80–90% of crypto users today, who are early adopters, use crypto in fully-custodial and centralized solutions [This is a potential for the decentralized space ????]

Our goal is to combine the convenience of centralized services with the advantages of decentralized, self-custodial features.

We want to make crypto easy and worry-free. To make it accessible and not frightening. And to allow people to earn a decent yield on their funds without becoming a Defi expert or turning account security into a full-time hobby.

Fortunately, the birth of StarkNet and the advancement in ZK Proofs allow us to achieve just that. Simple, fun and intuitive way to enter crypto with low gas cost and low technical burden on the user’s shoulders.

Our Plan

Braavos is a self-custodial smart contract-based wallet running on top of StarkNet (an L2 Validity Roll-up settles on Ethereum).

We start by providing StarkNet users with all the basic functionality of a wallet and then some:

  • Create accounts
  • Connect to dApps
  • Sign on a friendly human readable transactions and messages
  • Review a human-readable transactions history
  • Get ERC20 tokens balance and their value in USD
  • Protected transfer of ERC20 tokens between wallets
  • View NFT collectibles — image, music and video
  • Dev tools to help developers build and test their apps using the wallet
  • and more…

However, this is just the start.

Braavos is a smart contract-based wallet, contrary to the prevailing client-side-only wallets (such as Metamask and most others), which allows us to provide a much more powerful experience to our end users tackling all the problems mentioned above.

Braavos’ wallet is more than a typical client-side wallet. It provides powerful, user-centric features. Our wallet supports on-chain account functionalities, ensuring broader utility and security. Features include:

  • Account segmentation — having a separate checking and saving account
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Social recovery and multi-sig
  • Support account recovery mechanism that relies on ZK proofs — no seed phrase or private-keys
  • Multi-call — no more approving maximum token allowance to protocols
  • Best rate tokens exchange within the wallet
  • ‘one-click’ earn a yield on your tokens from within the wallet
  • and much more…

There is a lot of work ahead to make it a truly decentralized self-custodial solution. Our focus is on a seamless web2-like experience for users. Expect significant updates and a major UI overhaul soon.

You can already download Braavos Wallet here.

The Braavos’ Team

Taking such a critical and bold mission is extremely challenging. We had to make sure that we were bringing on board the right people who have the brain power, the ability to execute and the strong belief in the mission itself. We spent the past months assembling a highly experienced team that shipped many products over the years and has true conviction in the mission. In addition, we partnered up with top investors in the space to ensure we’ll have enough capital to execute our vision.

Join us in this journey to make crypto affordable, approachable and understandable.

A word of disclaimer

The Braavos wallet is in its alpha stage and runs on top of the StarkNet network.

This means that

  • Things can break and, in extreme cases, can lead to a loss of all your funds
  • The wallet extension code and the wallet contracts have not been audited yet
  • The wallet extension, as well as the wallet contracts themselves, can be upgraded without a time-lock.

The article was written by Motty Lavie ( @mottylen ) and published on 2.06.2022

Motty Lavie

Motty Lavie

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