Introducing Privy

You shouldn’t have to choose between protecting your users and building great products.

Henri Stern


Feb 15, 2022

Privy is a simple, powerful API to manage user data.

Privy helps you manage user data off-chain, so you can build delightful products without siloing user data or putting their privacy at risk. With Privy, you spend more time focused on product and user experience, and less time on compliance, infrastructure and damage control. Your users stop worrying about having their data leak every time they fill in a new sign up form.

Web3 should be about empowering users, not just decentralizing our tech stacks.

We’ll put it plainly: on their own, blockchains are terrible for privacy. They excel at transparency, enforcing provable claims, but they are a public state. Identifiable user data should not be put on-chain, even encrypted (ciphers break).

Accordingly, many developers follow a strict “no-data” diet. This leads to user experiences you know all too well: refreshing a block explorer when you should have received an email notification (ergh), a collateral liquidation you never saw coming (whoops), needing to log in and out of a given app to work across multiple wallets (yikes).

Meanwhile, others are going back to the stacks they know. They put user data in walled-off, (mostly unencrypted!) databases and recreate the silos we all live in online. “We’ll secure this data properly once we have traction” leads to “we’ll think through how to give the user more control once we’ve settled our scaling issues.” Privacy is only ever technical debt.

Web3 today sits on a knife’s edge where the most scrupulous developers are unable to build great products, and user data is taken on by those least likely to care for it. We see another path. One which remembers that web3 is about building user-respecting technologies, and that decentralization is just a tool, not the goal in itself.

We are building Privy to bridge access between public (on-chain) data and private (off-chain) data so you can build successful products without putting your users at risk.

Unify your user experience cross-chain and cross-address.

Better UX in web3 will unlock mainstream adoption for the products we build. Using Privy, you can easily associate user data with on-chain addresses. That means you can:

  • Text or email users with notifications or updates without custodying their PII,

  • Take on KYC data without storing it on your stack,

  • Surface a unified UI across a user’s various wallets without accidentally doxxing them,

  • And so much more.

Privy makes it easy. Here are the two main interfaces from our TypeScript SDK:

Don’t see the work happening to protect your users’ data? That is precisely the point (though you can read the code). Powerful tooling should be simple.

Today, we’re focused on providing you with a seamless developer experience so you can ship faster, and focus on your core product. Tomorrow, we turn our attention to intuitive user-side tooling, making it easier for each of us to take control of our data online.

The market is calling for more trust on the web, yet developers have to choose between bad UX and potentially catastrophic data handling, legal and regulatory risk.

We believe magic happens when teams can focus on what they do best — building products.

We’re thrilled to introduce Privy today and excited to see what we can build together. Our API is in a live beta. If you’re interested in trying Privy, please reach out. We’re also hiring! If you’re interested in shaping the future of online privacy and data infrastructure, reach out. We’d love to talk with you!

The Privy Team

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