In this Web3TV interview we talk to the CEO of Thred, Kazi Hossain about his mission to create the best crypto wallet to keep your digital assets, including cryptocurrency and NFTs, safe from hacks. He introduces us to Thredwallet, his non-custodial wallet solution, while also touching on what your digital wallet could be used for in the future, as well as why he is now happy for his Mom to use this new technology. Also keep a look out for a guest appearance from Nikolas Moore of Utiliti, who joins the interview panel.
Andrew McCombe: Hey guys, I’m Andrew McCombe, welcome to Web3. In today’s video, I’m with Kazi Hossain, the Ceo of Thred Wallet and we’re going to discuss the utility of Thred Wallet and why it matters to you as a Web3 consumer, developer, business owner and, ultimately, freedom fighter.
Kazi, you’re, the cofounder and CEO of Thred Wallet, which is a leading non-custodial Web3 wallet with never seen before levels of multi-encryption security and Dapp store. You’re experienced with managing the web and mobile app ecosystem, skills which you are bringing across to Web3. You’ve been invited to speak on entrepreneurship at Ivey Business School at Western university and you’re a metaverse astronaut which sounds super exciting. So how does he tell us? How did this incredible journey begin?
Kazi: Thank you so much for having me on the show um yeah. So this journey began you know roughly three years ago when I met co-founder Arta right outside of one of our computer science classes at university, and you know he was wearing something we call the Canadian tuxedo and that’s where he wears a jean jacket and jeans matching true religion brand. Of course, and you know, I thought to myself this guy’s different from the other engineers here, um, maybe we can vibe, so I approached him. He showed me what he built. I showed him what I built and immediately we clicked in his own words. He didn’t want to be an engineer and I didn’t either. So we came into the room knowing that we’re going to build a big software company and that’s just what we started doing so yeah.
Myself and Arto, our first business together was an ecommerce platform ecosystem. It started off as a mobile app on the app store and that’s kind of how we sharpened our teeth on mobile app development, we became experts in mobile app development first and consumer psychology and scaling that business before we got our hands on Web3.
Andrew McCombe: So what did you learn about consumer psychology?
Kazi: Just looking at the funnel, looking at use cases, looking at passing the mom test, which is basically a UX/UI problem mindset of your everyday soccer Mom should be able to onboard to your solution, use it and share it with their soccer Mom friends.
Andrew McCombe: Very cool. So obviously for the viewer’s sake and we’ve mentioned this earlier, we’ve got Nicholas Moore from Utiliti on board today as well.
Kazi Hossain: um he’s, a big Web3 advocate for sure.
Andrew McCombe: Your obviously on boarding people from Web2 to Web3. How did you guys get into web3?
Nicholas Moore: Yeah? That’s a great question. I was at Amazon Web Services for a couple of years trying to push a boulder up the hill saying “Hey, we need to look at this. We need to pay attention to this. We need to do something with this and took one conversation too many for me to realize I was gonna make more headway out on my own and so left to start this business, providing you know foundational infrastructure to incredible developers like Kazi.
Um, and you mentioned the mom test, and I was you know, I think about this a lot in the context of but just being able to explain to my Mom what in the world we’re doing here, and so I’m curious to hear your take with what you’re building right on.
Nicholas Moore: What does it take to make this Web3 space relevant to somebody like my Mom, especially in the context of the user-friendly wallet you guys are building?
Kazi: Thank you for that by the way, Nick yeah. So what we look at basically is for our problem. Firstly, I was inspired to jump into Web3 in the first place, because you know my Mom for an example, she had to always send money overseas to Bangladesh and it was always an issue and there was always fees and she’d have to go to the MoneyMart and walk over there and we’re in Canada. So it’s it gets like minus thirty degrees, sometimes here, and just seeing that painful experience of the middleman kind of inspired me to thinking this solution oriented manner for Web3.
But in your point of view, for back to you for your mother, with essentially Thred it’s an easy username and email password sign in. So anybody can onboard and anybody can create their first crypto wallet, um and that’s the best way to put it. With Metamask and other solutions for an example it, can be quite difficult to onboard your everyday Mom to crypto because the first step is to have a crypto wallet where you can hold your crypto before you even get into buying crypto use cases for crypto, NFTs and defi and lending platforms. You need to have a wallet. You need to know what a key is. You need to know how to manage your key. Well Thred, is that solution. It handles all of that for you in an encrypted manner, so that you don’t have to have that worry in the back of your mind. You know your key’s safe. We don’t handle your keys. It’s non-custodial.
So we have a very unique encryption method, where we use your password so that you can access your wallet and we’ve actually developed ways where you can even have a kill, switch to your wallet. Where you detect any kind of strange activity on your wallet, let’s say a potential hack that’s incoming, you can activate a kill switch right from your smart watch or wearable. No one else in the market is tackling this right now.
Andrew McCombe: Kazi, there’s so much depth there and obviously we’re gonna get into that shortly, but like before we get there, there’s a back story right in Web3. What was it that enticed you to Web3? Was it purely related to your Mom and trying to transfer money or like, is there something as going on there for you? What was the inspiration?
Kazi Hossain: um? Well, we did what we could with our ecommerce platform and we scaled it to thirty thousand users etc. etc. But we noticed in January no one was building for use cases today. Like not too many people were building use cases for today in Web3. Most more people were building for the future um and we’re focused on, how can we onboard people today and expand the pie rather than just go after the same pie and fight for scraps?
And that’s where we wanted to really attack the problem of UI/UX and security because we just kept seeing hacks after hacks and it makes the everyday person nervous. Genuinely you can’t have a thriving industry when there’s these gaping security issues, and we saw that Web3 needed this solution.
Andrew McCombe: And from the Dapp side of things too, because you’re a bit unique. You’ve got the Dapp side of the wallet. What was the inspiration on that as well like, that’s obviously, ah a significant point of difference?
Kazi Hossain: Yes, that’s right, um. Thank you for bringing that up. Well, our background um is mobile app development and working alongside you know the Apple App store and dealing with their team. We saw that with all these Dapps you have to constantly connect and disconnect your wallet and with traditional wallets. That can be a painstaking process and ah point of contention for most consumers. So why not have the Dapp store right in a wallet, that’s secure and that you can easily install those Dapps into a single point of connection.
Andrew McCombe: Very cool, and I guess that that brings me to mention the risk factor for the users. From my engineering perspective, was there also an inspiration around the security side or was it just a necessity when it came to wallets and the Dapps etc.
Kazi Hossain: Yeah, so you know we we’ve been blessed to have great mentors and advisors from the security world um and I’ve personally worked at the department of National Defense here in Canada and so um, we saw that you know, no-one from the cybersecurity community is actually attacking this problem. That’s where I kind of got inspired, where we can look at things from, you know, how traditional cybersecurity professionals look at problems and look at the way they encrypt and look at the way they prevent hacks for malicious activity, and from that that’s where we’re inspired to you know just look at safety and security and preventing that is exciting.
Andrew McCombe: Right, so a great three way combo there. Um so tell us, what is Thred. Give us a bit of an overview what it really is.
Kazi Hossain: It’s a non custodial wallet, a simple generated wallet for your everyday person. Our goal is to be the first Web3 experience for most people in the world. That’s our true goal here and our true mission, so that everyone has a chance at experiencing Web3 downloading their first Dapp experiencing uniswap. You know, like a lending protocol, storing their first Ethereum, that’s Thred in a nutshell, and doing it in a safe manner where they feel secure, where they don’t have to worry it about having a ton of money in their wallet and being at risk of a hack. I never want Web3 and hacking in the same headline ever again, that’s my mission.
Andrew McCombe: Wow, so I can fail your passion. It’s awesome that you want to be that first port of call as the wallet of choice um, but I’m also feeling there’s something deeper than that, like what’s the real driver behind that you want to onboard people in the Web. Why is that? What do you see is that is Web3 to you for starters and then what’s the future of it, that you’re, seeing that I guess the newbie can’t see yet, because they haven’t had that first experience.
Kazi Hossain: Okay, well you’re, asking a deep question here um. Well, I just look at the state of the world. You know if, you look at some of the some of the different economies today, look at inflation. Today we can’t always just blindly trust banks or governments with all of our assets right and that’s where Web3 comes into play, it puts power back into the hands of the citizens.
Andrew McCombe: I agree. Why not give the power back to you to take care of you and that’s where I really see what Web3 is doing. Moving the power back to the hands of the people and removing middlemen, removing inefficiencies from the system, removing bloat. As you know, a simple thing like buying a home becomes a very complicated process in today’s world.
Kazi Hossain: Right there’s brokers, there’s fees, there’s middlemen there’s bankers, there’s bloatwear that can be completely done away with Web3 with smart contracts with fractionalized NFTs yeah.
Andrew McCombe: With your Bangladeshi background, how do you see it affecting or benefiting say, emerging communities and countries, over and above the western world, giving them tremendous access to asset pools that they wouldn’t have otherwise had?
Kazi Hossain: Giving them more power in their own financial futures, breaking the chains of any kind of political system in the world right. Bangladesh, it’s like you know, even in America, where it’s almost a two- party system. Similarly, it’s like a two party system. There are two right, there’s like just a couple of major parties. They hold power for a decade or so, and then they see the change right. And the people deserve more. They deserve more options. They deserve a way to access financial stability that they wouldn’t have otherwise access to. With a trustless system in Web3, you don’t have to worry about any kind of corruption, any kind of strong man fallacy from leaders, etc, it’s all very transparent. It’s on the blockchain. You know who holds what coins, what tokens, who holds what interests in what interest groups? That’s Web3. It’s a beautiful place to be.
Andrew McCombe: Awesome. Like love the passion.
Nicholas Moore: Well yeah, I mean you’re you’re really hitting on sort of how expansive this vision for people who actually get it is right. Like today, what people know when they think of Web3 is what, scam coins and monkey jpegs and ah, a bighead vegan guy who who robs some people. And what it could be, even what we hope to see. You know five, ten years down the road when people are watching this playing this back on youtube right. I
It’s like a wallet, isn’t just a wallet and digital assets. A wallet is a wallet and then, potentially your whole life. Like you touched on, you know housing and not just financial instruments, it could be the way you vote.
Nicholas Moore: So I would be curious to know in your vision, right as Thred Wallet progresses, does it tie into identities and what do you feel like the future of decentralized identity is on chain, where users own more of that information.
Kazi Hossain: Thank you for asking that, and you know that is part of our roadmap identity, absolutely your on chain identity. My belief is that your on chain identity is going to be more important than your current identity in the world, because your on chain reputation is going to be more valuable than just a word. For an example, you know before it was, you know, as a man, my word means everything. Today we see that your word actually doesn’t mean a whole lot, especially in today’s economic climate. What we’ve seen from many people, what matters more, is your action than the words you speak.
What have you done? What kind of projects you’ve made have been successful? What kind of tokens do you have actually hold. And all that can all be answered through Web3 and your on-chain identity and with Thred Wallet, we’re actually working on. You know creating a profile system for your wallet right now, so it’s funny that you mentioned that um yeah, and that way you can connect that profile to different Dapps in your wallet, instantaneously.
Nicholas Moore:, This touches on something fascinating, which is that, for the business people watching, it’s like, why do I care about Web3 and by the same token, you know business is left and right being sued for having personal information in their databases or on their balance sheet.
I think what you’re hitting on is that represents an unlock of a new model for a consumer business data relationship where consumers themselves own and then voluntarily share the data that they possess with the companies that they interact with right and, potentially, I guess, through Thred Wallet is how this happens. It’s an unlock for a new model where business are able to consume and deal with the information that they care about right, like a consumer’s purchase behavior, without having to carry their home address or their family names in a database.
It’s fascinating right. It’s like you wonder why this is used for a business right and it’s like all the data that you could want as a business on chain without you having to get sued by the EU for getting access to it. Literally, you don’t need to constantly worry about cookies right. The future of cookies is your on- chain activity data relationship in a cookieless world, I think, happens to Thred Wallet. It’s pretty cool yeah.
Andrew McCombe: So Nick, when you first spoke to Kazi, the first conversation you ever had. What was the inspiration and hearing you know what he had to say in his vision. What was it that drew you into the process.
Kazi Hossain: I mean that’s a great question. So we first heard about Thred through our partners at a company called Big Commerce. They through folks, that I worked with when I was at a company called Avallera way back in the day, and we reached out to them just to kind of understand how are they thinking about Web3 since most e-commerce platforms are sort of engaging in this sort of step forward into Web3 token gating purchases to customers things like that, and we were asking them, you know, is anybody building this in your ecosystem.
Oh well, maybe you know, if there’s nobody than we could build something later and they mentioned Thred and so we went immediately to talk to Arti and Kazi and you know it’s like oh wow like this is really really cool like hey. Maybe these guys could make use of some of these tools that we’ve built and and maybe there’s a broader conversation to had here and um now a few conversations later they’re, you know, some of our favorite people to talk to in slack, um just to get feedback from them on what we’re both building.
It was good luck that we met because seven years ago I happened to work at a tax automation, software company that magically put in me in touch with Kazi. Very cool.
Andrew McCombe: So, when you mentioned tax automation software, was it Kazi that used to wake you up every day mate, when you fell asleep, because it was all tax related?
Nicholas Moore: Fortunately, I think that’s the next offering that we have a report to provide for our customers right. It’s like you’re dealing with on-chain data moving back and forth that probably a tax plugin is up next yeah.
Andrew McCombe:, Well, it’s super important right. So the other question too, like when you heard Kazi like its great to share your values. Nick, is that really important to you when it comes to potential collaborations and customers, that you are getting clear on what their underlying values are, so they make sure that they meet the Utiliti values as well.
Nicholas Moore: Right I mean we, you know in in a perfect world we have only customers like Thred right we want to be working with and having some of the top people using the foundational pieces of infrastructure that we built powering things is where we see a lot of runway into this new world of what Web3. And so you know, I think, there’s a lot of folks in Web3 who, let’s say it’s the old guard, are intrinsically financial instrument focused right, and it has not much to do with providing value to average, consumers you know. While average folks represent great customers to us, the people. I really want to be working with or for people who are building for the mainstream. For people like my mom and my dad and my grandma, who would love to be able to you know, access a Dapp through a wallet where they could log into in an intuitive way, but would never be able to have a crypto wallet otherwise.
That’s the next evolution in this space, in my opinion, it’s folks who are building for that mainstream. building for user experience as that north star right. That’s who our best customers are and in my opinion, because those are the folks who are gonna write the script for what Web3 becomes since their focused on user experience.
Above all else, I think the last thing I’ll say on that is, is like, you know, Paul Krugman has this famous quote. It’s like the internet by 2005 will be looked at as no more revolutionary as the fax machine or something like that and um, and I think that opinion didn’t really change on mass until the internet became useful for mainstream consumers right, until the amazons and the napsters, and eventually spotify existed were where the internet was a vehicle for something more valuable being delivered to people that changed their lives in a meaningful way. Likewise, I think Web3 falls at same adoption pattern.
Right like you don’t really see people not thinking it’s a scam until it is something useful for them. And you know on that note, I’m excited about what companies like Thred are doing and that they’re aiming to do something actually useful for mainstream end users like Kazi’s mom, who needs to transfer money back home to Bangladesh. I would hope to see more customers like Thred or for Thred to go so big that there’s no more room for any customers like Thred.
Andrew McCombe: Very cool. So Kazi, I just want to be even more specific and clear on what is Thred and when you think about your Mom as an example, if she was the end user, can you explain to the viewers what it is, what are the benefits of it are and then how is it going to apply to her.
Kazi Hossain: Sure, um essentially Thred is a self-custody wallet designed with one principle at its core and that’s security. There’s no more fumbling of private keys or secret phrases. Thred uses, you know, a multi-encryption mechanism to secure your account information. Essentially um, a completely email and password sign in ensures you have access to your wallet and you can change your password.
It has installable apps within the wallet itself and yeah like within the context of my Mom for an example, she can quite simply create a wallet, hold ethereum in it and if she wants to transfer ethereum to another wallet, let’s say my uncle who’s, also in Bangladesh, and she doesn’t want to pay, you know one hundred dollars and wire fees and banking fees. Well, here you go, you can just easily install one of the Dapps within the library and then transfer coins.
Nicholas Moore: I think that hits on a good point, right, it’s like what is mainstream adoption look like and, and I’m curious. Let’s talk theoreticals here for a moment, right paint this picture two to three years out in sort of the most audacious version of events. What is Web3 look like two three years out to you, what are you most excited about?
Kazi Hossain: Ah, I’m most excited about just about having five hundred million people holding a wallet. You know because when five hundred million people hold a wallet, then they’re gonna start thinking differently about crypto, about the power dynamics in the world and thus start developing more in that direction.
They’ll, be creating applications that we haven’t even thought of yet. That’s really what I’m excited about. I want them to hold some crypto in a wallet. That’s honestly, what I want, if I can get five hundred million people to hold some crypto in a wallet. The rest will take care of itself. People are smart, they will develop applications. They will develop more tools, more use cases, but they need a way of firstly holding those applications in tools in a in a place they need to be able to interact with those applications somewhere and it needs to be safe and secure. That’s really what I’m really excited about is getting the message out there to folks.
Andrew McCombe: It’s obviously a big thing to keep your crypto secure. You mentioned security, and you know the the reputation I guess of wallets and crypto at the moment isn’t great. You mentioned hacking earlier and the and the privacy piece. Obviously people lose their keys, et cetera. How are you guys mitigating that at Thred?
Kazi Hossain: So number one, we don’t hold their keys. It’s not a custodial wallet. What we do is we encrypt it and we hold the encrypted version of the key. Wherever they store it, probably in their phone most likely, we can then access it from. We also store an encrypted version on our servers as well, so there’s two-way encryption and they can only access it from their password. So that’s kind of how we solve that for a hackerwould not only need to hack the person’s iphone for example or the hard drive on their device, but they would also need to hack our google servers for an example. So that’s one way we mitigate it. We also have a kill switch that we’re developing right now, for you to have you know, live notifications of any malicious activity that’s going on in your wallet, that’s out of the norm. For example, you can automatically disconnect from any potentially malicious Dapp or if anyone is really calling your wallet for a signal because there’s a transmission there. So yeah. That’s kind of how, there’s a few of the ways that we’re tapping that problem.
Andrew McCombe: Fantastic. Sounds like the Roles Royce of wallets and and what excites me, the most Kazi as always, is we’re all about. You know. Our guest is the bigger picture of all of this and what it’s actually going to do for the world, you know the making the difference for the multiple reasons, the privacy, the transparency, the anticorruption, the freedom orientation, the borderless side of it, the trustless side. So mate, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Andrew McCombe: Nick, anything final from you before we say goodbye.
No, just like I said earlier, it’s just always a pleasure to talk to people who are building things that have the potential to go mainstream and do something useful for mainstream users, because that’s what I think the future of this space is and so just a pleasure Kazi, really excited about what you’re building.
Kazi Hossain: Nick really excited to be here. Thanks Andrew and Peter.
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