Share on
Feb 24, 2024

Why We Invested in Clave, the "Revolut" of crypto

I would like to thank Mavis and Baki for their helpful feedback on this article


  • Wallet UX in crypto is broken - hard to secure funds, onboard, and use existing web3 wallets
  • ERC4337, an account abstraction protocol, has been called the "key to onboarding the next billion users" by Vitalik
  • Clave is a first mover in the account abstraction space, developing the first mobile optimized ERC4337 compliant wallet that has hardware wallet level security without requiring the user to safeguard their own keys
  • Clave's early mover advantage, strong backing from major ecosystem partners such as ZkSync, and Turkish native background all make them a frontrunner in the competitive ERC4337 landscape
  • Mirana is excited to announce our investment into Clave and look forward to supporting them on their journey to build the "Revolut of crypto" and onboard the next billion users to Web3


Wallet UX has been a persistent hurdle for onboarding users to Web3. To be true to crypto principles of self custody, such wallet onboarding flows usually require users to first create and securely store a 12-24 word seed phrase, then use a separate service like a centralized exchange to fund the wallet before being able to use it.

This complex, multistep process is overly cumbersome for many users who only want a web3 wallet for casual purposes such as minting an NFT or interacting with an on-chain game. Even DeFi power users often find the need to fund a wallet in a chain’s native gas token to interact with dApps cumbersome.

The Ethereum community has, of course, been thinking about solutions to such problems for some time. Such ideas fall under the umbrella term “account abstraction” which, as the name implies, indicates that the end user no longer has to concern themselves with setting up and understanding their web3 wallet account in detail in order to use it.

Account abstraction comes in a few different flavors, with some requiring changes to the base EVM layer (“native”) and others requiring no changes (“non-native”). Though native AA solutions are much more efficient, non-native solutions are easier to implement. Other VMs such as Move or Solana have their own variations on this theme, but the relative success of non-EVM based account abstraction approaches as an investment category is somewhat preconditioned on the erosion of the EVM’s overwhelming dominance.

The desired benefits of account abstraction usually fall into a few main categories:

  1. Maintaining hardware wallet-level security while also not requiring the user to expend effort self-custodying their keys
  2. Enabling use of the wallet without requiring the user to fund it first with the chain’s native currency
  3. Providing a way for the user to recover their account if they lose access to their keys or the device they are stored on
  4. Further abstracting away the interactions with the blockchain so the user does not need to consider the specific details of the chain their assets are on, the chain those assets need to be on, or even the dApp they need to interact with in order to get what they “want” (more generally referred to as intents)

Some rollups, such as zkSync, introduce new opcodes into the EVM that accomplish some of the above objectives (native AA). Alternatively, an example implementation of non-native AA is meta-transactions, which allow a designated relayer to sponsor gas fees on behalf of an EOA. However, the new standard for non-native account abstraction is ERC-4337 [1], a proposal which specifies a unified interface for interaction with smart contract wallets without requiring changes to the base EVM layer.

(taken from [2])
(taken from [2])

Briefly, ERC-4337 requires the deployment of a singleton entry point contract which is fed transactions by a bundler that aggregates user transactions from compliant smart contract wallets. In executing the ERC-4337 transaction from the bundler, the singleton contract calls out to the user's smart contract wallet to determine how the bundler is reimbursed for gas fees and how the transaction validity is assessed. Different smart contract wallets will differ in their implementation of these functions (and thus also how they accomplish the objectives listed above). As a final note, ERC-4337 compliant wallets will usually have a paymaster whose role is to sponsor gas fees on behalf of their users or enable users to pay for gas in a non-native currency.

During his talk at EdCon [3], Vitalik called account abstraction and specifically ERC-4337 the "key to onboarding the next billion users”. With ERC-4337 being officially implemented last year and other wallet functionality extensions coming online (SAFE plugins, Metamask Snaps), its no understatement to say that our familiar web3 wallet experience will radically change over the next few years.

Enter Clave

The ERC-4337 and larger account abstraction landscape is shaping up to be highly competitive. With multiple companies being founded over the past year targeting every level of the stack, and many heavyweight VCs placing their bets. But even with such a plethora of talented teams building in this space, Clave has some strong and unique advantages.

(Taken from [4], fairly comprehensive even though they forgot to mention Clave)
(Taken from [4], fairly comprehensive even though they forgot to mention Clave)

Sharp but Robust Strategy

Clave is focused on mobile-first web3 wallet UX built around the phone’s secure enclave as the security element. This means that Clave wallets have similar security to hardware wallets, while also allowing users to “sign” transactions using familiar authentication methods like FaceID or fingerprint scan.

The wallet boasts all the expected features of account abstraction wallets - gas sponsoring, account recovery, biometric signing - packaged into an intuitive UI reminiscent of Revolut. However, this alone would not cause Clave’s approach to stand out among the AA competitive landscape.

What distinguishes Clave further is their zkSync alignment. Clave is positioned as the premier zkSync wallet, making use of their native AA implementation to offer extremely low cost transactions. The AES verification required to validate secure enclave signatures is ~14X more expensive on ethereum L1 due to the lack of a precompile or opcode for the computation. ZkSync has also demonstrated a strong commitment to Clave by both leading this round and pushing many of their ecosystem partners to integrate with Clave.

As a final piece, Clave’s underlying software stack is fully modular and can easily be spun out into a wallet-as-a-service offering. Many ERC-4337 compliant and mobile wallets will need to offer similar functionality such as bundlers, paymasters, account recovery, and secure enclave signing. Given the option, they may choose simply to license Clave’s and focus on their unique product strategy vs spending precious time reinventing the wheel.

Early Movers

This is especially true in light of the fact that Clave has been a fairly early mover in the account abstraction space, giving them a slight head start over many other teams. They produced one of the earliest implementations of secure enclave-based biometric transaction signing with OP-Clave, a hackathon project from EthGlobal 2023. The project went on to get quite a bit of attention on Twitter [5].

Furthermore, Clave also proactively addressed the aforementioned issue of relatively expensive signature verification for AES on unmodified EVMs by coauthoring EIP-7212 [6], a proposal to introduce the verification as a native precompile and reduce its gas cost from ~70,000 to ~5,000. This proposal was eventually converted into the first Rollup Improvement Proposal, RIP-7212, which has been accepted by much of the L2 ecosystem [7].

Clave’s mobile wallet is currently in beta testing on both Android and iPhone. We expect first movers in the mobile-first AA wallet space to have relative advantages to late movers due to Lindy-ness and brand awareness, similar to the factors that have facilitated Metamask’s dominance.

The Right Environment

Clave is a Turkish-based team, which means they are situated in a country which boasts one of the highest crypto adoption rates worldwide [8]. Walking down many streets in Istanbul, it’s easy to find money changers offering fiat to crypto exchanges. Some cafes even accept payments from mobile crypto wallets.

Being situated in such an environment means that the Clave team lives alongside their target market and has access to direct and continuous feedback. Few other teams are as well positioned to dogfood and iterate as Clave. The importance of this can’t be overstated.


Clave’s unique team DNA, early mover advantage, and product strategy/alignment make them a frontrunner within the account abstraction space.

Mirana looks forward to supporting Clave on its journey to become the wallet app that onboards the next billion users to crypto. Clave is poised to start with a bang, debuting next week at EthDenver by rolling out their app to its 25,000 attendees with quests that highlight the key functionality and, subsequently, to the staggering 170,000 users currently on its waitlist [9].

This debut merely marks the start of Clave's momentous journey to build the “Revolut of crypto” - a delightful and secure mobile-first Web3 wallet experience that eliminates the current frictions plaguing crypto onboarding and UX.



Share on