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Three-month-old Elph wants to make it easier for you to find and use blockchain-based apps. How? Through a portal that’s promising to enable users to click through to see how their crypto holdings are faring, to buy and sell CryptoKitties, or to find and use other decentralized apps.
Its cofounder and CEO, Ritik Malhotra, says it will eventually be the “Netscape for crypto.”
Blockchain - Apps - Malhotra - Team - Trust
If it sounds outlandish, that’s mostly because there are still so few blockchain apps from which to choose. Malhotra and team trust that this will change over time, however, and investors seem to trust them, including Coinbase, The House Fund, and numerous individual investors who just provided the company with a little less than a million dollars in pre-seed funding.
A large part of the appeal is the founders’ pedigree. Malhotra was a Thiel fellow, for example, stepping away from UC Berkeley in order to make the requisite two-year commitment demanded of the prestigious program. Malhotra and Tanooj Luthra, Elph’s cofounder and CTO, had also previously cofounded and led a YC-backed startup, Streem, that sold to Box in 2014. Afterward, Luthra joined Coinbase as a senior engineer on Coinbase’s crypto team, learning the ins and outs of the nascent but fast-growing industry.
Company - Premise - Outfits - Today - Users
But the company’s premise is compelling, too. Most crypto outfits today require users to walk through numerous manual steps to create and store their wallet, and authenticate that they are who they say before they can start actively engaging with the service. With Elph, users simply sign up with an email and password, says Malhotra; Elph then handles account management across apps based on the unique ID that it assigns them.
“It’s an app store,” explains Luthra. “You log in, you see a bunch of decentralized apps, you click them, and they open up. We’ve handled all the interfacing with...
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