Turnkey: Removing Barriers for Crypto Developers
Founders Sam, Bryce and Jack are making it easier for developers to build in crypto
A future with trillions of on-chain transactions per day may not be that far away. Over the last few years, significant improvements to crypto’s underlying infrastructure — such as scalable block space platforms and zero-knowledge technology — have made web3 much faster and easier to use. Thanks to these advancements and more, we believe crypto applications will soon be able to usher in a brand-new cohort of mainstream users.
We can already begin to see what mainstream web3 applications might look like. Seven million people signed up for Reddit’s Collectible Avatars, an NFT collection that’s modeled a blueprint for a burgeoning consumer crypto movement. Meanwhile, Nike earned $185 million in revenue from digital wearables within eight months of purchasing NFT studio RTFKT. It’s one thing to purchase an avatar, but it’s an entirely different and fundamentally better thing to actually own it. As we talked about in the past, leveraging ownership enables web3 products and services to grow faster — and bigger.
And yet for all of this promise, there is still one major barrier preventing more developers, platforms, and brands from following suit: better private key management. Today, onboarding onto crypto applications is far too difficult for the average user. If we are going to reach millions of people, they shouldn’t have to download a browser extension, memorize a 24-word seed phrase, know what chain they’re on, or worry about wallet compatibility in order to use an application. It should just work.
To reach mass adoption, we need infrastructure and middleware that can abstract away the hard parts of crypto for both users and developers — just as Stripe abstracted away payment complexity to make transactions painless for merchants and customers.
That’s why we’re investing in Turnkey. Turnkey is an API-first product that allows developers to programmatically generate wallets on any chain, store private keys with institutional-grade security, sign transactions across multiple blockchains, and manage access permissions — the sum of which should not just make crypto applications far more usable for ordinary users, but also significantly expand the universe of the types of applications web3 developers can build.
Turnkey is led by a team that has already delivered a winning custody solution at scale. Founders Sam McIngvale, Bryce Ferguson, and Jack Kearney met in 2018 while at Coinbase Custody and were instrumental in building it from the ground up — Sam was Coinbase Custody’s head of product, Bryce its first product manager, and Jack its first engineer. They built a product that, over time, has been responsible for protecting over $200 billion in assets. Sam, Bryce, and Jack have scaled enterprise custody, and we believe they’re now the perfect team to solve developers’ private key infrastructure needs.
Like Stripe, which succeeded by targeting developers and treating payments as a primitive for internet businesses to be built on top of, Turnkey is creating a platform for developers to launch innovative products on top of crypto infrastructure, using programmatic and secure key management as its foundational primitive.
Underneath the hood, these APIs are supported by Turnkey’s robust hardware stack that comprises world-class security through secure enclaves, which ensure integrity of code, as well as immutable, verifiable data stores. Turnkey won’t access private keys or sign transactions without explicit user authorization through cryptographic signatures. In addition, Turnkey has created a policy engine which allows developers and users to customize fine-grained permissioning to gate transactions that don’t meet a specific criteria – essential for features such as spending limits or allowlisting certain smart contracts.
Developers can stop worrying about key management infrastructure and rely on an incredibly secure, customizable, and accessible product built to scale to thousands of wallets.
With Turnkey, we can unlock a new era of mass adoption.
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