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Everyone who holds cryptocurrency needs a crypto wallet to store it. But not all crypto wallets are created equal.
Some are more complicated, making your crypto holdings so secure that they are hard to access even for you. Others are so simple that they leave themselves open to blatant security flaws.
So, where does Zengo fall into all of this? It actually fits into a very unique niche. There are a few things Zengo does as a crypto wallet to set itself apart from the “complicated vs. simple” dichotomy.
These things have done wonders for a lot of people. And today, we are going to talk about if they really work in our in-depth review of Zengo.
Table of Contents:
- What is Zengo
- The Basics of a Crypto Wallet
- What Makes Zengo Different
- How do Zengo’s Biometrics Work
- Which Cryptocurrencies Does Zengo Hold
- How is Zengo’s Trading Abilities
- Does Zengo Allow Staking
- How Demanding is Staking
- How are Zengo’s Fees
- Zengo Pro
What is Zengo?
Zengo is a cryptocurrency wallet made by a company of the same name. Founded in 2018, this Israeli company got its initial start-up capital of four million dollars from Samsung Electronics.
In short, they had an idea good enough to impress one of the biggest tech giants in the world, now securing over 900,000 accounts.
- A unique and intuitive way of securing holdings without a password
- 24/7 live in-app support
- Lower fees than most crypto wallets
- Fully audited and committed to open source
- Does not allow most cryptocurrencies
But what is that idea? Well, to talk about that we will have to talk about crypto wallets in general.
The Basics of a Crypto Wallet 👛️
Cryptocurrency is stored on a blockchain. But that phrase is not totally descriptive of what goes on. The blockchain itself is totally digital, existing as the product of thousands of different computers communicating with each other. Cryptocurrency exists on this network because the different computers that are linked by this network agree that it exists. They also agree on who owns that cryptocurrency.
Just like how the person who holds a dollar bill is the easiest person to call the “owner” of that dollar bill, the person who owns a set of crypto holdings within the blockchain is the one who holds the “keys” to that crypto holding. These keys allow you access the crypto on the blockchain, making you the owner.
A wallet is a device or program that helps store your keys. The more secure your wallet, the more secure your crypto holdings. But wallets come with their own risks, of course. Most wallets are apps that scramble your keys in a specific way that only the same app can unscramble.
This means that someone getting the app (or, just as likely, access to the device that you have the app on) will be able to get the keys. This is why some people just opt to write their keys down physically.
Sure, you can hack their tablet and get their keys from an app. But you can’t hack a sticky note.
What Makes Zengo Different?
All of that business with keys and apps is both the primary feature and the primary risk of crypto wallets. That is what Zengo seeks to innovate on. Rather than using a password scrambler to keep your keys elusive, Zengo is powered by MPC technology and has no private key vulnerability.
This means that there is no private key that can be lost or stolen. You can use your face, your eye, your thumbprint, or all three to make a security protocol that only you can access this way recovering your wallet is done easily with the unique 4D face scan and 3-factor authentication.
You can probably immediately see why these might be better ways of securing your holdings than a password. To begin with, your face and fingerprints are unique to you. That means they cover the most important need for your keys’ security right out of the gate: That only you can access them.
But more importantly, they will not change. Well, your face might. But your fingerprints will not. This covers the second need: The ability for you to access those keys reliably.
However, anyone who knows anything about computers knows that this method of security is not full proof. It might be more intuitive and secure than an encryption key. But everyone knows that computers can’t recognize faces without first turning them into numbers. And numbers can be hacked.
How do Zengo’s Biometrics Work?
Facial recognition is a strange kind of software. On one hand, the uses of it are obvious. It can make identifying personnel and intruders on a premises much easier. It can be used for advanced analysis of demographics. But it also has a connotation with totalitarian governments tracking their citizens.
In short, it is easy to misunderstand it. But here are the essential functions of facial recognition technology: It takes a face and converts it into a set of coordinates. These coordinates are determined by the shape and colour tone of the face. The more advanced the software, the more precise the values.
That means, when Zengo uses facial recognition software as a key to recover your crypto wallet, it is actually using a set of values that match up (within a margin of error) with the values of your face as set by the facial recognition software. That means if someone knew the values, they could trick the software.
The same applies to fingerprint recognition software. In fact, fingerprint analysts have identified only four or five significant markers of what makes one’s fingerprints their own.
Granted, these four or five indicators (there are debates about the exact number of distinct indicators) can be expressed in more ways than there are atoms in the observable universe. But a nearly infinite number of possible coordinates is far from impossible to crack through hacking.
Which Cryptocurrencies Does Zengo Hold?
Few wallets, if any, can hold all of the cryptocurrencies that exist at this point. There are just too many security protocols that are too unique. This is especially true for Zengo. Your more exotic crypto holdings are not going to be compatible with Zengo’s method of securing security keys.
The most well-known cryptocurrencies that Zengo can hold are Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Polygon (MATIC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), Dai (DAI), and more.
You can swap and trade different cryptocurrencies from nearly anywhere in the world. Over 120 cryptoassets are supported. But the main draw of the different cryptocurrencies it is compatible with is not simply that it can contain them. Because like many other wallets, Zengo also allows you to trade and track these different currencies as well.
Current payment methods: Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit card (Visa and Mastercard), bank transfer (SEPA and Swift), or debit card (Maestro).
How is Zengo’s Trading Abilities? 📊️
Because of the limitations Zengo imposes on which cryptocurrencies it can hold, you can also only trade in those currencies and no others. Not only that, but while you can access your holdings from anywhere, Zengo only allows you to trade through the app if you have a wireless internet connection.
This is an understandable security feature. Networks like 4G and 5G are actually not very secure, to say nothing of the numerous security flaws in Bluetooth. While phones tend to have weak security protocols on their own, Zengo as an app has a strong security framework, ensuring that your trades are safe.
Does Zengo Allow Staking?
Staking and yield farming are some of the most compelling new methods for making money off of cryptocurrency. But they are a little unintuitive, and even people who are well versed in cryptocurrency might be unfamiliar with them. So, let’s give a brief run down.
What is Staking?
When a transaction is done through a blockchain, the entire blockchain has to authorize it. This presents a problem, as contacting the entire blockchain for authorization can take up to twenty minutes. You can’t really buy groceries if your money takes twenty minutes of standing in line to process.
That is why staking exists. Staking involves three components: The person making the transaction, the stakeholder, and the platform. First, the person making the transaction buys something with their cryptocurrency. Their payment goes to the blockchain for authorization. But at the same time, their transaction is basically instantly approved. Why is this? It is because of the stakeholder.
The stakeholder is someone on the blockchain who has been pre-authorized and put forward their holdings as “stake”. They stake a claim that the person making the transaction will be able to pay their bill. By doing this, they cover the transaction that this person made, with a small service fee on top.
So, if the person making the transaction were to pay $20 in cryptocurrency, they would actually be charged $20.005. That last $.005 would go to the stakeholder for the risk of covering the transaction.
This process massively speeds up the number of transactions that can happen on the platform. It can also be done automatically, turning a substantial cryptocurrency holding into passive income.
Zengo does allow for staking. This means that if you have enough of a certain cryptocurrency, then you can help people speed up their transactions by putting it up for stake. You will earn passive income, at the cost of not being able to trade that cryptocurrency until you take it off of stake.
How Demanding is Staking?
Many people expect staking to be as demanding on their device as crypto mining. But one of the big differences is that neither staking nor yield farming get more efficient the more powerful your machine is. That means the systems do not incentivise you to overclock your phone.
They will only be possible to do with a wireless internet connection, just like trading, but they will not be demanding on your phone’s lifespan in the same way that crypto mining is. Not in any way.
How are Zengo’s Fees? 💸️
We had our dessert talking about passive income, time to eat our vegetables talking about trading fees. The trading fees Zengo levies are a result of the stake and loans they extend to you for trading. That means you are only subject to fees if you use them to trade. And even then, there is flexibility.
You have three options: Economy fees, regular fees, and fast fees. Economy fees make your transactions take longer, but the fees are practically invisible. Regular fees are balanced between cost and speed. And then fast fees are big enough to go into decimals of a dollar in value, but always instant speeds.
It is worth noting that Zengo’s fees are generally lower (to account for the lack of 4G and 5G network trading) while offering more flexibility than most wallets.
Unlock even more security features with Zengo’s premium subscription service accessible for as low as $20.00/month.
- Asset Withdrawal Protection: Prevent unauthorized withdrawals with a secondary verification using 3D FaceLock biometrics.
- Web3 Firewall: real-time risk assessments and alerts that protect you against Web3 attacks using Zengo’s ClearSign(™) technology.
- Priority 24/7 Support.
- Legacy Transfer: Grant a beneficiary access to your digital assets in case of death or prolonged absence with a feature inspired by traditional inheritance systems but done the self-custodial way. The industry’s first self-custodial inheritance-style system.
Zengo is a crypto wallet with a unique way of protecting your holdings. It does not support the widest number of cryptocurrencies, and while it allows you to trade, it does not let you do it without a wireless internet connection. But the security, low fees, and potential for passive income make up for that.
- Rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot
- Rated 4.6/5 on G2
- Rated 4.5/5 on Google Play
- Rated 4.7/5 on Apple’s App Store
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