The digital payment systems landscape is evolving with the introduction of Beam, a new crypto wallet launched by the Eco Protocol, promising the most cash-like digital payment experience ever created.
This crypto wallet harnesses the capabilities of Optimism and Coinbase’s Base network, enabling everyone to execute decentralized, onchain payments. Users need not fret over the chain they are on, nor complex fees. Instead, they pay straightforward, fixed charges in the currency they are transferring. The wallet supports USDC and ECO at its debut.
The launch of Beam is a significant stride forward for the Eco protocol—an innovative decentralized currency backed by substantial investments. Companies such as Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital have funded the project, contributing to a total of $95 million.
“We’re bridging the gap between mainstream payments and crypto in a way the industry’s been anticipating for over a decade,” said Andy Bromberg, CEO of the Eco App and Beam and contributor to the Eco protocol. “With Beam, users get the censorship resistance, self-custody, and privacy of crypto with the familiarity of Web2 peer-to-peer payment apps on a global scale.”
Sending money via Beam mirrors the ease of handing over cash. According to Bromberg, Beam offers a user-friendly experience where you can send money through a link via text, email, WhatsApp, or any platform, without any prerequisites such as app downloads, sign-ups, or logins.
Additionally, the Beam wallet aims to make digital payments less intimidating for mainstream users by being specifically purpose-built, rather than generalizing its functionality.
“While most crypto wallets are built to be as generalized as possible, Beam is built with guardrails and specific purposes in mind,” Bromberg added. While support for more cryptocurrencies might be on the horizon, this will be dictated by user demand.
Beam’s launch has been made feasible due to recent advances in the industry. Innovations include Ethereum’s implementation of ERC-4337 – Account Abstraction in March, Optimism’s Layer 2 scaling solution, and the Superchain initiative.
These developments have enabled user-friendly wallet designs and faster, more efficient payments. Beam is the first product to leverage these innovations in a user-friendly format.
“Payment products like Beam will help bring the next billion users onchain,” said Jesse Pollak, Lead for Base and Head of Protocols at Coinbase.
Moving forward, Bromberg shared their plans to continue to expand Beam’s features, aiming to lower fees further, increase cross-chain functionality, and make it as easy as possible for the mainstream to adopt onchain payments.
Produced in association with Benzinga