Strategic Partnership Announcement between Citadel Wallet, HashPack, and HeadStarter (Part 1)
In part one of this Twitter Spaces, Citadel Wallet, HashPack and HeadStarter speak about their recently announced strategic partnership. Citadel Wallet will be the first Hedera Hashgraph native hardware wallet and it will be able to leverage all of the network's native services.
Citadel Wallet – Andy - Founder
Okay, I think, we have enough people that have joined already. We can kind of slowly get started here. So what I'll do, I'll go through, a quick introduction about Citadel wallet, and then I'll dive into a little bit into all the announcements that we had this week. This, like I said, this has been a crazy week. We've been preparing for it for a while. We had the HashPack announcement, HashPack strategic partnership announcement, a HeadStarter and Builder Labs announcement strategic partnership announcement just came out this morning. So if you haven't had a chance to check that out, you can check the tweet from Citadel Wallet account. Every everybody knows me as "Hbar to the Moon." My name is Andy, and I've been developing this hardware wallet for the Hedera ecosystem. It's called Citadel wallet. I've been spent last, I've spent about six to eight months already really spending a lot of time developing this wallet, and we have made really good progress. And behind the scene all this time, I was working with Tudor from Head Starter and his development team at Builder Labs to develop the software and firmware, secure software and firmware for the wallet. And HashPack is, of course, the leading software wallet provider in Hedera ecosystem, one of the best, I would say. And we had to make sure that when the wallet comes out and goes to market, people can easily just pair it with HashPack and do everything that they have been doing, interacting with the network directly or using the dapps that have been built on the network in a very seamless way. And that's the reason that we have partnered with both of these teams and projects. I think this is going to bring also a lot of new users from other Web3 ecosystems, saying that there is a hardware wallet that supports all of Hedera services, and it's not just for sending crypto or sending tokens. You can actually do your daily activities with the network using the hardware wallet paired with your favorite software wallet and make sure that your private keys are all secure. So, a little bit about the HashPack partnership. Why is it a strategic partnership? Because we've been working with directly with the HashPack team, and they have been supporting us on the integration side right from, I would say, about a couple of months ago and that was very important for us to be able to, right from the beginning, work with the software wallet team to make sure that everything that we developed is going to be seamlessly integrated into the wallet. Rather than completing the wallet firmware and software developments and then more issues come up in the future that you have to go back and start changing things, it was the right decision to get involved with the team early on. And the team has been very nice to our project and has been very responsive and it's very supportive. Very excited about the hardware wallet as well, so this has been a perfect partnership with HashPack, and I'm really excited to continue working with them and bringing all those services from Hedera Network to the Hedera ecosystem users who can just simply pair the wallet with HashPack and start using it. That's on the HashPack side. I'll give a chance a little later to Marc from HashPack to also give his opinions about the importance of this collaboration. Let me also talk a little bit about the partnership with Head Starter. Head Starter is the premiere ideal Launchpad, the leading Ideal Launchpad on Hedera Network, and they have been partnering with a lot of great projects bringing them to market. Initially, they were supporting only tokens, so it was the ideal. Now they also support INOs, which is Initial NFT Offering, and that's where it's going to be very useful for our project because we are going to conduct our wallet pre-orders which are common end of this month, through NFTs. We're embracing web 3. We're trying to do everything in an open and community-focused way, and doing the pre-orders through NFTs seemed like the perfect way to bring this wallet to market. And Head Starter is going to be helping us on all the web 3 infrastructure related things, helping us with the minting of the NFTs, with smart contracts that are needed for people to mint those NFTs, and just provide an easy, seamless experience for people to go to the website and start minting and pre-ordering their wallets. On top of that, Head Starter also has the Builder Labs, which is the development arm of Head Starter, and it's comprised of a team of very talented and experienced engineers, software developers who have not only great experience in developing applications for Hedera, they have a great understanding of Hedera Network. But they also have a lot of experience in developing secure IoT-type firmware for secure IoT-type devices. This requires a little bit of a different type of expertise. You need to know how to program these small, low-power microprocessor devices It's a lower-level programming language, and when I learned that the team has this expertise as well, on top of knowing everything Hedera-related, it was just a no-brainer for me to also collaborate on that side of things. So, I'm really happy that Head Starter and Builder Labs will be supporting Citadel wallet to build this, really secure firmware and software, and also help with integrations with software wallets from the ecosystem like HashPack. So, that was a mouthful, I'm gonna stop here. I do want to give a chance to Marc from HashPack and Tudor from HeadStarter to talk about their experiences with working with Citadel wallet and why they think this is an important collaboration for the Hedera ecosystem. You can go ahead, Marc.
HashPack Wallet – Marc Ugas – Director of Operations
Yeah, so first of all, thank you so much. This is massive news. I mean, one of the things that we have been seeing, I feel like since, you know, ever we got the Ledger integration and all that, it's like, okay, so like what are we going to be able to leverage all of the suite of you know, services that the network provides, and this is something that so many community members have been asking about. It's like, okay, how do we do staking? How do we can I get my NFTs? How can I get all the other HTS tokens? And, you know, finally, you know, here pretty soon, we're going to be able to have all of our favorite NFTs, HTS tokens, and also be able to interact with everything sign smart contracts. So, if you want to engage in any DeFi or anything like that, you'll be able to do that with Citadel wallet. And the relationship has been great. I mean, we've been keeping a very close eye on everything that you guys have been doing. How we understand that at the end of the day, building a hardware wallet is something kind of a big undertaking, and just seeing the vast experience that you have, you know, building stuff from, you know, from all your experience and all that, it's very refreshing, and also having that security in mind, that that's really the first priority when it comes to hardware wallets, obviously. So yeah, I mean, we're extremely excited. I think that on top of that, everything that you guys have been doing with Head Starter, and the collaborations that we have been seeing between, you know, the three teams have been great. You know, always keeping in mind that at the end of the day, what we want to do here is to reach that inflection point where we see the mass adoption and making it extremely easy. That's something that we keep on the top of our minds, and having two teams that are constantly thinking about that as well is super, super nice. And so yeah, I mean, super excited for all this. I think that there's a lot more that I'd like to say, but I'll pass it to Tudor, and then we can just kind of get into more of a discussion between all of us.
HeadStarter – Tudor - Founder
Cheers, Marc, thanks for that, and thank you, Andy, for the lovely intro. It's an exciting day for sure. I cannot imagine, I mean, I can a bit imagine how you must feel, Andy. It's a momentous day for Citadel wallet and for the Hedera community because now, finally, we will be having access to all our favorite features on the Hedera network. Through a more secure self-custodian solution, and we really bought in 100% to the Citadel wallet's vision. And knowing how much effort Andy has been putting in behind the project, the level of detail to which he analyzes every aspect of the wallet is a sight to behold. It's truly inspiring to learn how well thought out not only the design but the functionalities of the wallet have been planned out to be. But more importantly, the security aspects of the wallet as well as the future roadmap and scaling functionalities for the wallet are second to none in the industry. I don't obviously want to take the shine, I'm sure, and you can describe the Citadel wallet better to everybody. It's a shame I'm not joined today by somebody from our development team from Builder Labs. Obviously, between Builder Labs and HashPack team, since we've been working together for a very long time, there are a lot of synergies there, there's a lot of bromance in the background, and it's been great to be working with them together. Obviously, the team at HashPack is very representative for the Hedera network, and they have been leading in pioneering a lot of the activities and the initiatives that are brewing and growing inside our Hedera ecosystem. They're great ambassadors for Hedera, and obviously, as Andy said, the wallet solution is as well one of the leading, one of the best ones that we've seen in the crypto industry. I'm excited to be here today, excited to discuss in more detail about the Citadel wallet, its functionalities, and also the phigital NFT drop, which I think is a very unique innovation that we see in the Hedera network. I think that when we speak about NFTs, we speak about what's the utility behind it, etc., and having NFTs like the ones of Citadel wallet that are actually leveraging dynamic NFTs attributes as well as bringing the physical aspect to it, I think is something unique in itself, and we're very happy to be working with great pioneers, ambassadors, and proposing to the community such an innovative solution.
Citadel Wallet – Andy - Founder
Yeah, thanks Tudor for the good words and for explaining how the phigital aspect of this whole thing is going to work. That's something that I've been thinking about right from the beginning. Should I just have the people do go on the website and order these wallets in a traditional way or should we have the web 3 way of just embracing the web 3 and have the web 3 way of handling this. People order the NFTs and then they get the wallets when the wallets are available, and I think this is opening up so many different possibilities. When you do things through NFTs, people now have in their hands something that they own, and they always can show proof of ownership of this future wallet that they're going to collect or claim. But at the same time, having that kind of a pass, that kind of a ticket in their hands, you can build a community on top of all the people that have been supporting you right from the beginning and add extra privileges and utilities to those NFTs, especially with a project like a hardware wallet where it's going to be an actual company and a business that has a strong business model of building wallets and services and selling the wallets. And some of that can flow then back into the NFT community and NFT project which I've been spending a lot of time thinking about. What are the best ways to do this since the industry is still new? There's some regulatory uncertainty about what you can do or what you can't do, but definitely in the near future, as some of those things clear out a little bit, we're going to be able to bring immense value to people who are going to participate and support the wallet through NFTs right from the beginning. And it's our goal to bring value back to those people. You talked about security as well, Tudor. Security is top priority for Citadel wallet, and I know it's the top priority for any web3 applications and for other networks or the net or Hedera network. I wanted to talk a little bit about the security. I did bring up NFTier as well to the stage. I would like to give a chance to them to say if they have any comments, but in at the end of these spaces, I'll also open up the stage to everybody, anybody else who wants to come up and ask a question or has any opinions about this partnership and collaboration. NFTier, if you have anything to say, you can go ahead, and then we'll talk about the security of the wallet and security in general.
NFTier – Kantorcodes - Founder
I just want to say them so deeply excited for a lot of things that we're talking about here. One, I'm just excited to see the Citadel physical wallet coming to life. I think that we've all felt a gap in functionality with ledgers. I personally have a ledger, and I loved it for most of my blockchain activities, and it's always been such a bummer that I haven't been able to use it the way I would like to use it on Hedera. So I'm just excited about that in general, but I'm also excited to see all these partnerships and these collaborations between players where in any other ecosystem, we'd look at each other as competitors, but we're opening up our arms to strategic and collaborative partnerships to improve and better the ecosystem. So I'm just, you know, just really happy to see all this happening. Those are my comments really, I think for myself also, I guess the last thing was that the physical digital aspect. That's also something that we're really excited about because we've done a little bit of that physical minting experience with our holiday sweaters before, and that's something we want to see in the long term. It's like, you know, we're not just here for these d-gen plays, you know? We want to change the world to some aspect, right? Maybe that's idealistic, but we want to see a world where we're bringing businesses aboard and retail users who may not care so much, but they just want to get a wallet, and they want to have a digital version of it as well, or they want to buy a shirt and they want to have a digital version of it as well, you know, and it's exciting to see EU on the frontier doing that and taking on that experiment.
Citadel Wallet – Andy - Founder
Yeah, definitely. I couldn't agree more. I mean, these NFTs are going to change everything. The kinds of utilities they add to the traditional way of doing things. A simple product, when you attach an NFT to a simple product, instantly, just for some reason, it becomes way more exciting, and you feel like you can do so much more with this concept of NFTs. Of course, the very first use case and utility of NFTs was to build communities, to have this kind of 10K collections of characters, and that, I think, has been an amazing use case, and that is not going to go away. Some people have been saying that this is just a hype, it's going to go away, but communities have always been an important part of human nature, and NFTs are just enhancing and making that stronger. There is no way this doesn't stay and even grow bigger, but NFTs can also be used as a utility to the project or to the product that you're making, and I couldn't agree more. That's for sure. I see Marc has a comment. Go ahead, Marc.
HashPack Wallet – Marc Ugas – Director of Operations
Yeah, so I just wanted to make a quick comment to you know what you were talking about, you know, the NFTs, communities, and utilities, and so on. I mean, I think that what we're seeing right now is another change into how companies, brands, whatever, like engage with their end user, right? Like 50 years ago, the closest relationship that you had with a brand was seeing it through the TV. Then kind of came the influencers and all that, and that came with the relative ability for those users to relate to someone, and then with that, also can relate to the brand in some way or another. But I think that now what the next shift is going to be, where these brands, these companies, like yourself, like what NFTier did with the NFTees, is going to be a direct relationship between those companies and their community members, and then all the utility that you can add on top is just going to be additional value that those users would not have been able to get back in the day. So yeah, I just wanted to make a quick comment on that, but I think that the way that you're approaching it with the "you call it phigital NFTs," where you know, you order them through NFTs, and then you basically can prove that you know where you were an early supporter of Citadel. And you were also, you know, that you don't only, you know, all like that, you can prove that you own this, these, this hardware wallet. I think it's very neat, and yeah, I'm just super excited to also be able to see those NFTs inside of my Citadel wallet, which is going to be a big changer for everyone in the ecosystem.
Citadel Wallet – Andy - Founder
Yeah, yeah, those are all great points. I mean, that was my goal right from the beginning, to be able to engage the community into something that you're building. You're just getting started to building. I'm excited about the project, but how do I make sure that people from outside the project feel as much ownership to the project as I do? And that's the way to do that is to create this community that is based on NFTs. And I see a lot of web 2 traditional companies, like you're saying, brands, start doing things like this to offer NFTs, limited edition, that come with special utilities and privileges associated with the project. I see so many passion like from traditional companies. You can see, for example, Tesla. Tesla has so many hardcore fans that are on Twitter and other social media platforms promoting and supporting the project, the company, basically for free, but they don't get anything out of that. How cool it would be for Tesla to have some kind of NFT project? The owner of the NFT projects are kind of part of the company, and they're already passionate and curious about the project or the company, and they help to promote the message of the company. Why not them also benefit from the success of the company? So, that's where I see the future of traditional companies to be moving, companies and brands to be moving towards. And I completely agree with your observation. That's, I think, that's exactly what's going to happen. And that's what we've been trying being part of web3, building in web3. We had to embrace it, and we had to make sure that we bring that aspect to the project and the company. So, it's not just a one-dimensional hardware wallet product company. I see, there are many other hardware wallet companies and projects in the industry, crypto industry just in general. I see them having a hard time promoting and getting people engaged with these projects and companies because they're looked at as just a simple electronic device, hardware, while there's nothing special to the hardware wallet. Once you buy it, you start signing transactions. There's nothing else that you're gonna get excited for. Of course, it brings immense volume utility as a device that provides security to your assets. But outside of that, how do you build that community and the brand around this project that is just a simple device that signs transactions? And NFTs, I think, are the best way to do that. And we've been experimenting a little bit also, taking examples from other projects in the ecosystem who've been trying to do something similar, I really respect all projects who are trying to do something new and experiment, even if it doesn't work hundred percent, but it's going to help everyone else, all the other players in the industry, to grow and evolve. That's on the Utility side. That was a really a good conversation. I'm not sure if Tudor has anything to add to the NFT side of things.
HeadStarter – Tudor - Founder
I just want to say that, going back to the early days of Head Starter, we initially, we've been Hedera community members for a very long time, and what we noticed early on is that a lot of the Hedera projects really need help with funding. There's a lot of very passionate people that are trying to build utility on the network. Obviously, the Hashgraph protocol has really opened up the imagination of a lot of Hbarbarians to what can be built on the network. It's just that unfortunately, at least in the early days, right, there was very little investor interest and functionalities as well have been growing over time. So, initially with Head Starter, we thought that once smart contracts will start interacting with token service Fungible tokens and a launch pad for basically initial decentralized token offerings would be something that is very important, and it is still a key utility for projects out there that will leverage utility tokens inside their dapp or smart contracts, etc. Now, what we realized, therefore, early on since we're so young in the early days of Web 3, especially on Hedera, is that there are really a lot of ways that the web3 industry is revolutionizing businesses as we know, and there have been a lot of projects that are innovative, innovating on Hedera. Just looking at the latest ones collaborating with Head Starter, so Citadel wallet, as, Andy mentioned, there's it has a lot of innovative aspects when it comes to the way that they utilize the NFTs, the dynamic attributes, the digital aspect of things, and the functionalities that will be built thereafter that we probably will be talking a bit later on. Also, Earthlings, they have utility NFTs that they drop with us, for example, the first atonement that they did a couple of weeks back, those are an innovation in it in itself. And all of this to go to the point that Web3 businesses obviously have a lot of pressure that they are building while facing the community. They have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and the board members of a normal company are the community members that you interact with on the Discord on Twitter every day, so it's an additional level of responsibility and, transparency, so to say, but it opens up this whole new level of crowdfunding to launch a project to make sure that your project grows, scales. So there's, so many innovative ways and I'm very excited to continue to collaborate with community members and entrepreneurs builders to find more and more ways that utility NFTs, fungible tokens, and who knows what other aspects of the Hedera services suite can be leveraged towards innovative new crowdfunding ways of tomorrow that likely will become adopted as a standard in the years to follow worldwide.
Citadel Wallet – Andy - Founder
Yeah, I completely agree with everything you said, Tudor. It's also, like you said, a great way to help the project at the beginning, at the early stages, to do those fundraisings and bootstrap the project, help it grow and bring then a lot of value back to the community who has helped it right from the beginning. I'd like to get to the security topic because we're building a hardware wallet and security is a number one priority for our wallet, and it has been right from the beginning. Initially when I started thinking of building the wallet, by the way, my background and experience is in electrical engineering and I've had six to seven years of experience in the industry, automotive industry, military avionic industry, building critical embedded systems and computer-based systems for mission-critical applications such as video processing, data processing systems on military aircrafts, things like that. So, in terms of developing the hardware wallet, that part was very simple and straightforward to me, although it might sound very complicated for somebody who is not involved with developing, doing secure devices like this. But building all those systems, security was always the number one priority. When you're building systems for industries such as military and avionics and automotive, security is always placed at the highest level possible. So, with that mindset, I felt like this is going to be the perfect project for me.