Trust Wallet’s Founder Viktor Radchenko on His Motivation and Philosophy
Founder and CEO Viktor Radchenko shares his motivation for building Trust Wallet.
Adrian Sandiford interviewed Trust Wallet Founder and CEO, Viktor Radchenko, to provide you with insight into his motivations for building Trust Wallet.
Do you have a personal mission? What’s the driving force behind what you do?
My driving force? I would say just making crypto accessible. Why? I don’t know. I was born in Ukraine, so I kind of know what money is, maybe in that sense, because if you lived in the US, or somewhere else, you always had one dollar equal to one dollar. So, in this case, you wouldn’t understand much about money. But because I lived in Ukraine, we had lots of inflation, so that gave me an idea of what money is, in terms of just how people perceive it.
At the same time, I just like the technology that’s built on top of it. Decentralized protocols that allow you not to use government anymore, and so that’s what I’m really excited about.
I want to build governance on technology, rather than having someone who’s a third party decide things for you. I think it just makes things more effective overall, in terms of our evolution in general.
When you were building Trust Wallet, and when you’re still overseeing it today, what are the problems you’re trying to solve for your users?
The biggest problem that initially led to the creation of Trust Wallet is I wanted to store my tokens on my phone. That was the problem I was solving myself because I participated in different ICOs back in 2017, and there were no products on mobile that allowed you to store tokens directly on your phone. So that was missing, and I thought “okay, I’ll build that”. So I built it, and that was the first version of Trust that came out two weeks after I started working on it.
But in general, the goal, what are we trying to achieve? We’re trying to give access to crypto to people who’ve never had access to crypto before. So simplifying it, and making crypto accessible. That’s the baseline. And by that I mean having the ability for people to create wallets without limits; so no KYC, you are free to set up a wallet anywhere you want, any country.
We don’t have any restrictions. Having the ability to create a wallet — that’s the first thing. Second, having the ability to send and receive funds. That’s the second thing we’re trying to do our best on. So you can receive funds in bitcoin, from anyone, and send it to someone else. Then, additional functionalities: having the ability to buy crypto, trade it, and utilize DApps.
So I think that’s the order of things in this case, but at the same time, all of this is covered in building security around it. We’ve got to make sure that we protect our users from different types of attacks. We want to make sure we educate them in terms of security — how to keep your recovery phrase secure, to never share the phrase. And then on the software level, we’re building different protection layers too, to make sure that people don’t even need to worry about the security.
What are your views on community? How is the community important for Trust Wallet?
I think crypto is a very community-driven system in general. We try to do our best to always communicate with our community, ask for features they want built, integrations they want to use, different protocols they want. So we are pretty active in that spectrum. We just want to give people the ability to speak up and say what they would like to see in our product, and our overall development and progress. Because we’re not just creating for Trust Wallet itself, but we also create open-source tools for other products to utilize, and just make products simpler.
Having that freedom, and the ability for people to collaborate, and come up with different ideas, is the concept I would always like to build on, not just for Trust Wallet, but in general. Because if there is only one centralized piece that makes all the decisions, then we won’t know what’s the right way to move forward, but if you give other teams and communities the ability to speak up and share, and propose different ideas for execution, then we can be building a better future.
It’s not specific to Trust Wallet, but I think if you look at how crypto is being developed, there are so many communities that come up with really cool ideas, and they would be able to come in and actually execute on them. Sometimes it doesn’t even require centralized companies to do anything. If you look at these decentralized protocols, people come in and start using them.
Building this permissionless world is very important to me. My parents were always telling me to be honest, have integrity, and share knowledge. So I think that’s the same concept where we talk about blockchain, technology, development — where you don’t want to build technology that’s only used by you, and create different patents, all of that bullshit, but you actually create something useful, not just to your product, but you make it open source so others can use it.
And it’s not just about code, right? It could also be around ideas. What are the cool ideas that you’ve learned about? The knowledge you’ve shared? And this is the reason why we created a community where we provide lots of content in terms of education. We create content around how to protect your wallet, what DeFi is, what other things are — we’re creating this content for other people to consume, learn, share, and discuss, and so other people can learn from them.