Crypto development company Eco Inc. recently introduced its latest product, Beam, a crypto wallet designed to revolutionize the world of digital transactions by offering a seamless blend of Web2 and Web3 technologies. Described as a “global Venmo,” Beam leverages Ethereum’s Layer 2 networks—Optimism and Coinbase’s upcoming Base network—to facilitate cryptocurrency payments, without the need for a centralized party such as a bank or exchange to access user funds.

Andy Bromberg, CEO of Eco Inc., described Beam as the industry’s first genuinely user-friendly payment wallet. The wallet is developed with an interface akin to Web2, overlaying the complex Web3 technology that powers its underlying operations.

What is Beam wallet?

Beam is a crypto wallet developed by Eco Inc., designed to facilitate transactions on Ethereum Layer 2 networks, including Optimism and Coinbase’s Base. Beam uses account abstraction to function like smart contracts, offering features like multi-factor authentication and social recovery.

With a user-friendly interface replacing complex wallet addresses with ENS domain names, Beam provides the benefits of crypto like decentralization and self-custody in a mainstream-friendly format. Primarily supporting USDC and Eco token transactions, Beam aims to replace global payment systems like Venmo and ultimately become a global equivalent to Visa.

How to download Beam Wallet?

The Beam wallet can be accessed simply by visiting the wallet’s website where a QR code linked to a wallet address is automatically generated. Users can then transfer USDC stablecoins from their existing wallets or use the on-ramp service, Moonpay, to convert fiat into crypto. To transfer funds to others, users share a wallet URL containing the cryptocurrencies. This feature means that receivers don’t need a pre-set crypto wallet to accept the tokens, further enhancing its user-friendliness.

One of the highlighted features of Beam is its implementation of account abstraction (EIP-4884), a crucial advancement in Ethereum that intends to make cryptocurrency transactions as straightforward as sending an email. The Beam wallet leverages this upgrade to function as smart contracts and support advanced features like multi-factor authentication and wallet social recovery.

“In the decade since Bitcoin first emerged, the industry has been yearning for something as easy as cash. Beam is our response to that call,” said Bromberg. The CEO added that Beam’s unique edge lies in its successful amalgamation of Web2 and Web3—offering an uncomplicated interface without sacrificing the fundamental principles of the crypto industry like decentralization, censorship resistance, and self-custody.

Bromberg sees Beam not as a competitor to other wallets but as a “payments wallet built with guardrails.” The wallet does a narrow set of tasks and only supports certain tokens and interactions, which decreases the chance that people get scammed or defrauded.

Beam wallet by Eco Inc

How much funding did Eco Inc. raise?

As of the latest reported funding rounds, Eco Inc. has raised over $95 million to support the development of the Eco Protocol and its associated products, such as the Beam wallet. This funding has come from several rounds and notable investors, including venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital.

Who are the backers of Eco Inc?

Eco Inc., the company behind the Eco Protocol and the Beam wallet, has received backing from several significant investors. These backers include:

  1. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) – a private American venture capital firm founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.
  2. Lightspeed Venture Partners – a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the enterprise and consumer sectors.
  3. Pantera Capital – an investment firm focused exclusively on ventures, tokens, and projects related to blockchain tech, digital currency, and crypto assets.

In addition to these major backers, Eco Inc. also has the support of Coinbase Ventures, which is the venture capital arm of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Also, the project has received endorsement from celebrities like Diddy, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony.

In its early stage, Beam is targeting peer-to-peer payment scenarios and aims to replace global Venmo use—especially in dollarized regions outside the U.S. Its more ambitious goal down the road is to become the global Visa.

Beam has also replaced long, confusing wallet addresses with ENS domain names, decentralized identities running on Ethereum. Within Beam, users can create their own ENS names by paying with the native Eco tokens.

Focused on simplicity and quick payments, Beam supports transactions with stablecoins, launching initially with USDC and their native token Eco. Beam’s objective is to become the primary gateway to mainstream cryptocurrency use, inviting a broad demographic of users to experience the advantages of digital currency.