Block Stars: Why Mainstream Consumers and Enterprises are Joining the Blockchain


In the latest episode of the all-things-crypto podcast Block Stars, Ripple CTO David Schwarz talks to BRD CEO Adam Traidman. BRD was the very first crypto wallet released on Apple’s App Store back in 2014, so Adam is used to explaining digital wallets to the uninitiated.

He compares them to their physical equivalent, which was how we used to hold and control all our money. Like the wallet in your pocket, a consumer can receive money into a digital wallet and use it to send money to others and pay for services. But it also comes with additional control and security.

“A BRD wallet is non-custodial,” he explains. “Your private keys are right in a hardware-encrypted chip on your phone. We can never access your funds. If you lose your [physical] wallet, you lose your money. Even if you lose your phone, you can get access to your [digital] funds.”

With nearly five customers in 170 countries holding over US$6 billion worth of digital assets, BRD is enthusiastic about the increasing mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Adam believes this growth stems from digital assets moving from primarily speculative investment to more utility-based functions, in particular cross-border remittances.

“[From] people sending money home to their friends and families abroad [to] folks who don’t have bank accounts who can log into our app. They don’t need to have an ID, they don’t need to register. They could go spend that [money] and change the life of their family. The main reason why people use our app today is because it’s just really easy to get started,” explains Adam.

The global remittance use case is more important than ever as there is an influx of people sending digital payments to loved ones in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Adam believes the global pandemic is bringing an increase of awareness around the benefits of blockchain technology for both consumers and enterprise businesses. BRD is already exploring future applications, including a new enterprise product called Blockset that helps businesses build blockchain-based products.

“[It’s] like an AWS [Amazon Web Services] for blockchains. We’ve got large banks, accounting firms, and system integration companies…starting to use our platform in order to accelerate the development of [blockchain] apps. We can do more at scale [so our customers can] achieve a higher level of functionality, and therefore offer end-customers a better product or service.”

As an early mover in the crypto world, Adam believes BRD has a major role to play in providing a platform for the industry’s future innovators.

“We’ve made great progress as an industry in helping people…in creating opportunities. [BRD can help] spawn a new generation of technology that’s going to facilities making it easier to interact with all these digital assets.”

Check out episode 6 of Block Stars now to hear more from Adam, including how blockchain can impact identity verification, why customers don’t always need to feel the friction of compliance, and what happened when he received an unexpected call from a customer in Kansas.

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